What’s the Buzz

I thought it was time for a little hive update!  Louise’s hive is amazing!  We have added a second deep hive body, which is filling up fasts.
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Hundreds of baby bees are hatching daily!  The ladies are very busy collecting pollen.  As you can see from the photo below, pollen comes in a variety of colors, depending on the flower.  So pretty!

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Unfortunately, Thelma’s hive has not been as productive.  We gave her a few more weeks, to see if there would be improvements in production.  Today, the hive agreed with our observation.  The bees have started to build supersedure cells.  They are preparing to hatch and replace the current queen, due to her lack of production.  We are choosing to not allow this to happen, by removing the cell.  Rearing another queen, from the same gene pool, will not help the situation.  A new queen has been ordered.  Once she arrives, Thelma will be removed and Thelma II will be introduced to the colony.  I am crossing my fingers that the colony is happy with the queen. Time will tell…

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Check back next week, for more bee drama at Indigo Acres!

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Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…

♥Roda

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It’s a Girl!

What is it about babies?  I love babies!  Human babies…critter babies…they are all completely adorable!  Baby bees are new to my list of cuteness.  I must admit, they are at the very top!  This little sweetie welcomed me to the hive, during inspection today.

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Baby Worker Bee 

Now keep in mind, the female worker bee constitutes the majority of the colony’s population.  Worker bees do most of the chores for the hive, except for the laying of the eggs which is done by the Queen. These lovely ladies live only 6 weeks during the colony’s busy season.  However, during the winter months, worker bees live up to 4-8 months.  As the worker bee ages, she loses her fuzzy hairs and becomes darker in color.

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Now over 21 days old, these worker bees become field bees. Their main job is to collect pollen and nectar, to sustain the colony.

In this photo, you can see worker bees tending to the brood.  The closed yellow cells hold the hive’s future worker bees.  The open cells are where the baby bees have already chewed their way out. The queen will lay a new egg in the open cells, and the amazing  process will begin, once again.

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The open cells, in the photo below, are filled with pollen.  The closed cells, that look like Kix cereal, in the upper right hand corner, are capped drone brood.  The drone bees are the only male bees in the colony.  They make up an extremely small percentage of the hive’s total population. They have one job and one job only…to fertilize the queen bee.  Because of this, the ladies tolerate the drone’s presence.  Once mating season comes to a close, the drone bees are tossed out the front door, by the worker bees! Life is tough for a drone.
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It was another exciting hive inspection day.  Queen Thelma and Louise both said hello today, too.  It was nice to see them and their freshly laid eggs.  Until next week!

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Jut Be You….

♥Roda

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Long Live the Queen

Yesterday was the big day!  It was time to open the new hives, for the first time. We were excited to observe how our buzzing friends have been using their time.

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Preparing the smoker
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The thick cool smoke makes colonies easier to work with, during inspection.
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The main lid is removed. 
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As you can see, the little queen cage is wedged between frame 3 and 4.  The queen candy is gone…the queen has been released!
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The bees have already made a large amount of burr comb, due to the extra space left between each frame, from the queen cage. Although it is beautiful, it must be removed! This beeswax can be used for making candles! Bonus!
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When examining the burr comb closely, you will find the queen’s first eggs!  They look like tiny grains of rice.  This is a great sign that the hive is growing in the right direction.
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As we inspected each frame, we were on the lookout for the queen!  Can you spot her?  Hint…she has a red dot on her back, for easy location.

 

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Long Live the Queen!  We named our 2 queens Thelma and Louise! 

I could not have asked for a more perfect 1st inspection!  We were able to locate both Thelma and Louise.  We also verified that they are both laying eggs.   My heart is filled will such joy…  Next week, we will be on a hunt for larvae!  I can’t wait!

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Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…

♥Roda

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