More Observations

This morning, I went out to add some more syrup to the feeders in my hives. As I expected, the feeders in both hives were empty (but just barely). I also took a little time to watch the hives a little more. The entrance of hive #1 is still mostly business, without too many bee just hanging out. There is a good traffic of foragers coming and going. Hive #2 in contrast has a lot of bees hanging out around the entrance. Some are still doing their cleaning thing, but not as franticly as before. Some just seem to be hanging out. There are still foragers coming and going, but I don’t see as many as hive #1 (the bees coming in with pollen are quite noticeable – I still see orange and pale yellow). You should be able to tell which picture is which.

Also, while refilling the feeder in hive #2, I saw a bee wrestling with what looked like a pupa. I tried to get a picture, but I seem to be crappy at taking pictures of small things. I need a macro setting. 😦 Anyway, the bee gave up and I picked up the white blob. It was definitely a pupa. So hive #2 is clearly uncapping and tearing out pupa. Exactly why and how many, I don’t know. Normally some removal of pupa that my have disease or parasites is a good thing. I am just worried that it means there is a problem. Sorry again for the crappy pictures.

While I was picking up this pupa, another bee with another pupa flew out.  It rose slowly due to the extra weight, but did not drop the pupa.  It flew off with the pupa in a straight line away from the hive.  I watched it go for as far as I could.  I find it strange that the pupa was not simply removed from the hive.  It was almost like it was taking the pupa somewhere.

I also squished 14 small hive beetles between the two hives.  I need to make those traps I posted about.

I also decided to open the screened bottoms.  It has been getting into the mid 80’s here and I thought that the hives might need some better ventilation.  I left a shorter bottom board in place, so only the part of the hive under the combs is open.  We will see how they do with this.

5 Responses to “More Observations”

  1. peter Says:


    As the leaves have only been out for a couple of weeks.

    The TBH I made, but w/o the sloping sides is sitting in the finally out sun lol, curing the clear coat. it was so nice to learn from someone who is exactly in my sit. of first hive and TBH to boot.

    As soon as the pheromone bait and bees wax to paint onto the 1/4in. ply I glued into the slots of the TB’s come by post everything should be good to go.

    I am going to place hive w/bait next to a hive that is several years old in the cavity of a wall in the hopes it is crowded enough that they will swarm. I figure to leave for 8-9 days as I think it takes 7 to swarm. If not successful will see if I can just buy a nuc.

    One Q. I had was why you fed them syrup for so long, esp. after things were in bloom? Is there something I have missed in my research?

    Thanks for all the time you spent on your blog, it’s the best thing yet and most applicable to me after spending hours on the (W)orld (W)ide (W)aste of time lol. The only thing better would be someone who is in the same temperate zone as I.

    Hope to post a page on my googlepages when I start.



  2. Linda T Says:

    Wanted to let you know that I built the SHB traps today and will be putting them on my hives tomorrow. I made a video about making the traps and will add the hive placement to it tomorrow and then it will be on my blog. I haven’t seen so many SHBs this year – mostly in my swarm nuc where I won’t put a trap – but I want to head them off at the pass this year.

    Great blog – love the way you chat with us, the readers. Strange with the pupa. Hmmm

  3. kawayanan Says:


    Good luck with catching a swarm. I would guess that it will just come down to whether or not they want to swarm. I have heard that for catching swarms, it may be better to place the hive a little ways away from the hive you expect to swarm. They seem to like to move a bit away from their old home. That makes sense from a natural perspective.

    Why have I kept feeding? Mostly because I really want them to build up. They are still taking the feed, and I figured I would try to feed them through a couple of brood cycles if they would continue to take it. As the package bees die off, their foraging force dwindles and I am hoping this will help them get established well until their population rebounds nicely (lots of foragers).

  4. Bug Girl Says:

    at least you know you have hygenic bees!

    (more info:

  5. kawayanan Says:

    Yes, hygienic bees is good. I’ve read a bit about it and how people breed from the trait. So far, it doesn’t look like they are tearing out to many cells.

    As far as I know, these are just Italian bees, and have not been specifically bred for hygienic traits. A local commercial beekeeper very close to me raises and sell Minnesota Hygienics, so if I ever have to requeen I may try them out.

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