Drones are from Mars, Queen is for Venus

Venus and and the other hives on June 5 amongst the weeds in the bee yard.

Venus and and the other hives on June 5 amongst the bee-friendly weeds in the bee yard.

I have been away from this blog and out of the hives for a couple weeks. A little too much travel and jet lag and other distractions. Trying to catch up this weekend, starting with the status of the new queen for Venus. My prior post on Venus described how Venus appeared to be without a queen, and how a new Russian queen from nearby breeder Chris Hewitt was caged and ready to be released in the hive. Continue reading

Everybody wants to rule the hive

160528i ApiaryMost parents worry about their kids. When my oldest daughter was four I asked my father when you stop worrying about your children. He replied that you never do. It made me pause.

As well, apparently, with a small bee yard. Although perhaps the possibilities are not quite so dire, you still worry. Is the queen well? Will the hive swarm? Do they have enough food? In recent weeks I have worried that four of my now five hives might not have a viable queen. The bees, to their credit, are teaching me patience. Continue reading

Dancing Queen: watch that scene

Welcom

This is the second of two posts about the VSBA 2015 Fall Meeting. See the intro post for a short summary of the meeting, and the prior post for a discussion of Dr. David Tarpy’s talks. This second post is about the sessions given by Dr. Ernesto Guzman on selective breeding and the use of natural oils and nutraceuticals in a hive. Continue reading

The Buzz about Bees

Buzz about BeesI finished reading Jürgen Tautz’s book The Buzz about Bees, Biology of a Superorganism. A number of sources touted this as an excellent book, and I was not disappointed. The book presents the case for treating the entire colony as an organism. Center to Tautz’s argument is that a bee on its own cannot reproduce; the unit of reproduction is the colony itself via swarming and requires the workers, the drones, as well as the queen. Continue reading

Long Live the Queen

We’ve been experiencing the joys and challenges of beekeeping. Overall I am reasonably happy with our progress. For our two Langstroth hives, one is booming and one has a new queen. The top bar hive continues to perplex me, though it seems to be doing well. Read on for the recent hive report.

May 23 Hives

The hives on May 23, showing how we added a third box onto one hive (Mars) and reduced the middle hive (Jupiter) down to a single deep.

Continue reading