Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Queen Kimberly

The swarm I caught on Monday was pretty small covering only 1 1/2 frames in the hive. Today I moved them into a 10 frame deep made into a dual nuk. In other words one hive box that holds two smaller bee colonies.

Anyway the girls were very easy to work with no threats from any of them. I did get photos of queen Kimberly as seen below in the center of the photos. I'm no expert but she looks to be a very mature queen and not a virgin queen as one might expect when seeing two swarms and this was the little swarm.
 To me these bees seem very dark when compared to my blond Italian bees. Could they be Russian or feral ? Funny, I was sitting in my chair watching the bees and I noticed a different cadence in the buzzing coming from these bees. Might it have been because of the empty foundation?
As you can see they have a lot of work to draw comb so she can lay eggs. I do not have any extra drawn frames yet. The wax foundation was just barely drawn in a few places.

8 comments:

Patricia Tryon said...

I'm fascinated by these photos and look forward to continuing to follow these very interesting developments. Our neighbor asked me not to pursue my interest in bees because his children are terrified of them. I'm honoring his request, somewhat resentfully it must be said. It's a delight to be able to follow your progress.

Randy Emmitt said...

Patricia,

Bet those neighbors kids were induced to be afraid of bees by the parents ignorance. Maybe you could get a friend or co worker to let you keep bees in their yard? I have several neighbors that told me I could set up bees in their yards. One must follow ones passions in life.

Sam Smith said...

Yea I second that don't let a neighbour stop you from keeping bees (ignorance is very annoying), you might be able to keep them in a different yard. These are not russians they look like a mix, open mated at least if not feral. I have found swarms are extremely fast at drawing out comb (foundation-less comb). Bees will draw out foundation much slower then their own comb.

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Next week is our Master Gardener talk on beekeeping. I look forward to hearing this as I have learned so much from you.
Amazing to hear the different buzzing from the bees...you are truly 'one with the bees'.

sweetbay said...

Very interesting Randy. There are so many honeybees here I wonder if anyone nearby keeps bees. I must look up how far they fly to forage. Once years ago I did stumble onto a feral hive in a dead tree stump on our farm.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Your Queen does look dark. When the colonies get larger I always struggle to find the darker Queens. As you have no drawn combs, if you're not feeding syrup, I'd be tempted to while they're drawing out the first combs. It takes a lot of energy to draw wax, and last year, for us, they seemed to draw the comb faster while feeding. The sooner they draw wax, and Queen Kimberly can begin laying, the less risk they'll abscond. Which I know can be an issue with plain foundation. Good luck, hope to see eggs soon!

Indie said...

Love seeing the bee posts - so interesting! I don't think I'd ever put a hive on my little lot, but I enjoy seeing all the little honeybees currently buzzing around my big clover patch.

Andrea said...

I have always been fond of seeing hives, as when just a kid i go with my father gather honey from the wild and i had lots of stings too. He just make a big torch made of palm leaves so the bees will be dizzy, i don't know if that is bad for the bees though. Now in our property we have two hives of native honeybees, but the beefarms use the imported species, ours is Apis cerana. We also have 2 hives of stingless bees i just saw last weekend on a dead trunk.

But Randy, if i may suggest because it is difficult for me to download all the posts in your page, i cant see the photos. Is it okay if you post only 1 or 2 posts per page? Thank you very much.