Category Archives: Observations

Spring Fever

This weekend we had a brief respite from winter, and the ladies took advantage of it!  I spent some time observing the comings and goings at the hive entrance.  Looked pretty busy, and a lot of pollen was being brought in. Some bright orange/yellow, as well as some pale almost cream colored pollen. I’m thinking some might be the beginning of the red maple pollen (see our previous post about the importance of the maples as an early spring pollen

Early Activity 2015

This past weekend we saw some very warm temperatures (into the mid-60’s, ~18 celsius) and both hives were very active!  Rob managed to capture some videos of some very interesting behavior at the hive entrance.  If you look closely in both videos, you’ll notice a bee exiting one of the holes of the mouse guard (the white strip of metal), dragging a dead bee out.  She’s on “undertaker” duty, performing the necessary task of removing the bodies of any bees

They live!!!

First of all, sorry for the lack of posts!  A lot has happened in our little bee yard, and I promise to retroactively write all about it…but first, just wanted to tell how happy we are that we confirmed this weekend that the girls are alive and hopefully hanging in there even with all this cold weather.  For the last week, average temps have been well below freezing with one night dipping down to 9 F or -13C! (insert mocking

Feelin’ hot hot hot!

Fourth of July here has come and gone, and you know what that means around here?  Temperatures are soaring! In the upper 90’s (that’s over 35 C for my family and friends back home), and we haven’t had much, if any rain for almost 2 weeks.  The garden is wilting, the dog doesn’t want to spend much time out in the yard, and even the bees are feeling the heat. While they can “air condition” their hive by using evaporative

Queen Elsa makes her appearance!

Finally after almost 2 months, we caught a glimpse of our shy queen, Queen Elsa last night! Queen Elsa is noticeably skinnier than Beeyonce, and her abdomen appears more dark brown than golden brown.  As Elsa is in the weaker hive, we think she may not be mated as well…which would explain the non-distended belly. What do you think?                     Long live the Queens! E  


As the hives grow and things start happening,  I’m really glad we started off on the right foot and have been taking good notes.  Well…let me rephrase that, Rob is the note-taker while I dictate what I’m observing as I inspect each frame. This joint team effort is really paying off as you can see: Here, he’s recorded a frame-by-frame (“F1, F2” etc) description of brood pattern (whether it’s eggs, larvae, capped, or not), and how much pollen and nectar

Hive Personalities

Just over 2 weeks into our beekeeping adventures, and already each Hive has been developing its own personality. We had plans to name the hives something witty but so far are just calling them Hive 1 and 2.  Anyway…during this weekends inspection, we observed that Hive 2 is about double the population of Hive 1. The bees had drawn out more than 6 of the eight frames with wax, 2 frames of which are now “sealed brood”. This means that

Bringing home pollen!

When I went out first thing this morning (ah, who am I kidding, it was 9:30), I was thrilled to see a lot of bees returning to Hive 1 loaded up with pollen! I take this to mean that they are satisfied with the home I’ve provided and are going to fill the pantry? I tried to take a short video…it’s hard to get a good close-up. This is the best I could do. You’ll notice a bee fly in