Changing Beehive Note Taking Method

I used to have what is pasted below as separate pages on this blog/site. It really was not working for me, and I decided to to just use the timeline page (https://sewisabel.com/beekeeping/timeline) for notes in the future. I copied and pasted the old pages below. Hives would fail and the supers would change and this note taking system did not work out for me.

Beehive Number One (since 2014)

  • Summary – first beehive, top bar hive, since 2014, first bee package installed did not survive the winter
  • Current Colony Age – 2 months (as of May 2016) 
  • 2015 – basically in storage/unused, despite using swarm lure no swarm took residence in hive
  • 2014 – first bee package installed, did not survive the winter and was weakened due to wasp harassment and robbing honey bees 
  • Sunday, May 22, 2016
    • removed insulation from side and bottom of hive, there was a huge black ant infestation, they were living in the insulation and top of the hive when it was removed
      • removed the ants by hand, bees acted less aggressive towards me after this
        • feel I saved the hive by removing the ants or at least gave them a better chance at making it to winterBeehive Number 1
      • planted tansy and spearmint from seed around the hive to deter the ants
      • when planting the tansy and spearmint even found an any colony with larvae about two inches under the soil directly below the hive
    • gave the bees sugar water with a board-man feeder and Api Life Var to prevent varroa mite issues
    • gave the bees 8 more frames as the tenth frame had fully drawn comb, did not check the first and second frames, there were still pollen patties in the hive
    • labeled hive with registration number IL9894 (even at hobby level can register hives) and the year 2014 and #1
    • had to cut the entrance reducer to fit the board-man feeder, the bees still have the smallest entrance size and bees were coming in and out of a small gap at the edge of the board-man feeder
  • Sunday, April 10, 2016
    • installed a new bee package in hive
    • took hive out of storage,
    • gave bees three pollen patties and no sugar water
    • gave the bees ten frames and placed the queen on the seventh frame
    • used the smallest size entrance reducer and the second entrance on the top bar is taped shut plus the divider
  • Wednesday, July 1, 2015
    • did not catch a swarm, will try again next yearFebruary 2015 beehive
    • may move inside barn as weather has taken somewhat of a toll on the edges of the hive
    • still has small amount of bugs and honey on the inside
    • did not spray it with swarm lure
    • hoping to locate where the wild bees are and then place the hive near them with swarm lure next year
  • Wednesday, May 13, 2015
    • sprayed swarm lure around hive entrance, do not expect to catch anything
  • Wednesday, April 29, 2015
    • still not swarm season, nothing has taken up residence in the hive, saw some ants near remaining drops of honey, no spiders or wasps, empty hive
  • April/July 2014
    • feed bees lots of sugar water
    • installed bee package
    • picked up bee package from post office
Hive Number Two (since April 2015)

Wooden Langstroth, since April 2015, located in the city

  • April 2016
    • installed spring produced nuclear package
  • Thursday, August 6, 2015
    • noticed compared to the two hives in the country (hives three and four) this city hive has a pile of dead bees in front of it probably from pesticide poisoning, pesticides produce showcase lawns but cause bees to essentially bring back poison to the hive
    • there was a robbing situation going on for a few days as bees were fighting in front of the hive entrance and there was a huge amount of activity and the drones
      Beehive 2

      were out I put a blanket over the hive to keep out the robbing bees for a few days and reduced the hive entrance. This reduced the activity in the front of the hive and I no longer see fighting in front of the hive. There are still drones hanging around the outside of the hive. Maybe there will be a new queen and her first flight out of the hive is coming soon. It looked like there were three diffferent types of bees outside this hive. A very dark honeybee, a lighter classically looking striped honeybee, and a medium colored honey bee with the end of the abdomen dark in color and the first part yellow with very subtle to no stripes. Is it possible the queen has this genetic diversity as she is the mother of all the bees in the hive and if remember correctly can have the genes of several different drones and they die after mating with her.

  • Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    • with bee suit on destroyed lots of spider webs on bee hive, there are lots of wolf spiders on and around and probably in the hive. Do have small sweet ants around the hive and found dead bees on top of the hive and outside the front entrance
  • Thursday, July 23, 2015
    • trimmed grass around hive and removed lots of spider webs around the hive
    • opened the top cover and bees flew out at me (I was wearing a bee suit) and may have squashed some bees while closing the cover. The top cover was sealed with propolis and hard to open.
  • Wednesday, July 1, 2015
    • this hive seems to be doing the best out of all of the four
    • there is a great deal of bees moving inside and outside of the hive consistently, they come out when the weather is goodbeekeeper
    • possibly this hive is doing the best because of the entrance reducer and it is the only one where the package was left inside the hive initially
  • Sunday, May 17, 2015
    • watched the bees fly in and out of hive and took photos of the hive, the pollen sacks had yellow pollen, orange, and a pollen that looked white or very light yellow
  • Wednesday, April 29, 2015
    • did not open hive, package is left in first deep super, assume bees have built their own comb in the deep super in and around the package
  • Tuesday, April 21, 2015
    • package installed, Minnesota Hygienic bees from Louisiana, picked up at farm in Indiana (abhoneyfarm.com)
BeeMax Langstroth, since April 2015, Hive #3
  • April/May 2016
    • realized the hive survived winter, is currently over 1 year old, insulation was removed
  • Thursday, August 6, 2015
    •  hive looked healthy and busy, there was no fighting outside the hive, was using both entrances on the entrance reducer, opened the cover slightly and the bees did not fly out at me, many of the frames were untouched by the bees, wonder if the polystyrene makes the bees more docile while inspectingBeehive 3
  • Wednesday, July 1, 2015
    • hive had very few bees flying in and out of the hive
    • removed metal mouse guard (it did not block entrance, was like a glorified chicken wire mouse guard) and placed a hive entrance reducer that made the entrance smaller on the hive
    • top hive feeder had almost like ticks on outer cover, no strong evidence they made it inside the hive and a bunch of dead bees
    • placed package inside the hive as they built more comb in and had a large population in the hive
    • added three shallow hive bodies with mixed frames (some wooden foundation less frames, some entirely plastic frames, some wood with plastic frames, some wood frames with beeswax foundation), had to take some frames out so the package would fit
  • Wednesday, May 13, 2015
    • the only hive with the package of bees removed that the bees remained in, the bees were staying in comb in a package outside of the hive, moved package a few feet away from the hive in hopes that would cause the bees to go inside the hive, maybe the queen is in the package or it is brood comb
  • 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, took package out of hive that included bees and combbees in honeycomb
  • Tuesday, April 21, 2015
    • package installed, Minnesota Hygienic bees from Louisiana, picked up at farm in Indiana (abhoneyfarm.com)
    • because the weather was so cold, placed package with a quarter or so of the bees inside the hive
Wooden Langstroth, since April 2015, Hive #4
  • April/May 2016
    • insulation was removed, hive survived winter, currently over one year old
  • Thursday, August 6, 2015
    • hive looked active and healthy, did not open the cover as did not want to deal with the bees flying out at me like the other wooden hive and it lowers the temperature every time you open the coverBeehive 4
  • Wednesday, July 1, 2015
    • hive had lots of activity and many bees flying in and out of the hive
    • population seems slightly lower than second hive
    • try to remove the the metal gauge mouse guard, but it fit really well on the hive, added an entrance reducer on the front of the hive but could not fit it correctly with the metal mouse guard and all of the bees around, it really did not reduce the hive entrance much
  • Wednesday, May 13, 2015
    • removed package from outside the hive as it was empty of bees and honey, the comb is white and took package to attempt to melt the wax later
  • 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
    • movable frame hive and uniformpackage 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

BeeMax Langstroth, since April 2015, Hive #5

  • August 2016
    •  hive is still in storage
    • hive is inactive
    • 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 entrancebee clip art 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 moBeehive #6squitoes 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

Beehive Number 6 (since May 2016)

  • installed Saturday, May 21, 2016Beehive 7 2016
    • only overwintered nuclear package installed and purchased for the year
    • beehives from all of the three nuclear packages purchased for 2016 did not seem to want to leave their portable nuclear boxes
    • some of the bees returned to the back of the truck the next day
    • were given pollen patties
    • queen excluder was installed
    • have smallest hive entrance plus inner cover entrance

Beehive Number 7 (since May 2016)

  • installed Saturday, May 21, 2016
  • started from a spring produced nuclear package
    • queen was in a cage
  • used queen excluder
  • appears to have been the most populous of three nuclear packages purchased for 2016 despite not being the overwintered nuclear bee package

Published by SewIsabel

Spare-time aspiring fiber artist, gardener, beekeeper and sew much more! Author of SewIsabel.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

%d bloggers like this: