2016-06: Blaine is Blooming

Blaine is blooming!   After being out of state for the past week, an explosion of wildflowers in the field adjacent to the City garden was noted.  This is definitely the start of the major nectar flow, and a time when honeybees can make a lot of honey.  It has been approximately 25 days since the bees were installed.  Because of their late start, they do not have a large enough population to really take advantage of all of the available nectar.

On inspection of the hive, no eggs or the queen were noted.  However, Larva in uncapped cells was noted which means the queen has laid eggs within the last 8 days.  These larvae will soon be capped for 13 days before emerging as an adult.  Eggs can be hard to spot, and the queen even harder.  Dan didn’t spend too much time looking for them since he was sweating his bee-suit and had to get back to work!  He is still optimistic everything is fine but will check back in 2 weeks for another inspection.  If something did happen to the queen, the workers can use an existing larva to make a new queen.  The fate of this colony is in nature’s hands which is part of the "natural beekeeping" philosophy.

A third box has been added to the hive too, which goes against conventional wisdom.  Dan did this because he had 10 frames with comb already made from a different hive last year.  Our bees should be able to use this comb immediately to store honey.  If nothing else, they will have lots of room to grow!   

The hive type is called a langstroth hive.  Essentially a vertical hive consisting of boxes.  Dan has a horizontal hive in the works for next year.  On researching horizontal hives, they seem to have many advantages for both northern climates and natural beekeeping.  Pictures will follow and more information will be shared as this takes shape.