do not plan to use polystyrene hives in the future as organic certification may require the hives to be wooden
Thursday, August 6, 2015
hive was empty of bees and just a few frames of partial honey comb were left
looked like there were queen cells
may have been a robbing issue or other bugs eating the bees such as spiders and the bees did take long to accept the hive being polystyrene and it is possible it was a weak queen from the package
may try a nuclear package next time as they have more bees than regular standard packages and a few frames of complete honey comb
definitely will start the hive off with a small hive entrance next time, to use the smallest entrance on the hive entrance reducer for a few weeks and then the second largest hive entrance and then possibly remove the hive entrance reducer
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
when removed top hive feeder to add three shallows there were hardly any bees visible, the cover of the hive had earwigs probably attracted to the sugar water
maybe the queen died, the bees do not like to exit and enter the polystyrene hive, or there was some type of disease or pest infestation, maybe there was an issue because there were only two deeps and it was polystyrene and the bees swarmed
removed wire mouse guard and added a hive entrance reducer and only saw about five bees going in and out of the hive, should have looked at the first deep, a bug that looked a somewhat large red beetle entered the hive right in front of the bees (I tried to squash it as I was wearing the bee suit and it jumped inside the hive)
worried about this hive, as per the National Geographic article chart from the May 2015 issue Illinois is a state with over 50% bee colony loss, maybe this is due to lack of food for bees and the harsh weather and winters, it was about 62 degrees Fahrenheit today. The article also shows Illinois as part of a typical commercial honeybee trucking route. Article also shows Illinois is a state that has less than one acre of pollinated crops per square mile (640 acres). Most states have less that one acre of pollinated crops per square mile. There are apiaries in Illinois not experiencing over 50% bee colony loss.
looking into planting milkweed around the beehives and this will bloom in June and July for two months of food for the bees. Milkweed is native to Illinois and attractive to the monarch butterflies as they lay their eggs in them and Illinois is part of the monarch butterfly flight path. Monarch butterflies travel all the way from Mexico to Illinois.
added landscaping fabric around the three beehives. There were a ton of mosquitoes in the area, very happy was wearing a bee suit. The mosquitoes made things difficult though and would have spent more time with the bees and gardening if not for the mosquitoes. Could not sit down without the mosquitoes buzzing and bothering me. Needed to wear the bee suit at all times. Considering a gazebo with mosquito netting. Had to have a fire at all times to minimize the mosquitoes. The Pottawatomie Indians of Illinois were called keepers of the fire probably because there was swamp land and they needed to keep a fire at all times to keep the mosquitoes at bay. There has been lots of rain and flash flood warnings and harsh weather here in northwestern Illinois for June and now July 2015. The weather was about 62 degrees.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
removed package from outside the hive as it was empty of bees and honey, there was no comb inside the package
the bees in this hive are quieter than the others
when removed hive top feeder to replace with a new one free of mold and mildew the bees were very aggressive and followed me maybe 20 feet away from the hive, gave them a new hive top feeder, if was not wearing a bee suit definitely would have been stung at least 15 times, to use a smoker next time, the hive top feeder was not removed more than 5 minutes and the bees just flew out very upset when it was removed
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
bees built own comb in package left in hive due to the cold weather, obviously the bees like building their own comb, they have really rejected and avoided successfully the plastic foundation
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
package installed, Minnesota Hygienic bees from Louisiana, picked up at farm in Indiana (abhoneyfarm.com)
placed package with a quarter or so of the bees inside the hive