Today our local Bee club the Orange County Beekeepers Association and the Alamance County Beekeepers Association had a joint field day at Lewis's bee yard in the blue berry patch. We opened up beehives in two groups and looked at the bees. Lots of new discoveries were made my some of the newer beekeepers. I brought my friend Scott along and it was his first time with a group of beekeepers. We installed Scott's first package three weeks ago, more on that in a bit.
The video below is Lewis pulling out drone brood looking for varroa mites. The first two brood had mites, that did not look so good. Luckily the other eight he pulled were mite free.
We also did a test for hygienic behavior in the hive. We set a four inch pipe over some capped brood and poured on liquid nitrogen on the brood to freeze the brood. If hygienic the bees would have pulled and cleaned the dead brood in 24 hours. Lewis had done a test the day before and the bees did not clean up the dead brood at all.
After the field day we stopped to check Scott's three week old bees. We found 8 frames drawn and everything looked great! Below is a frame from the hive. You can see honey on the top and a reasonable pattern of capped brood.
I returned at dark to Scott's with the bees that were occupying my swarm trap in a tree. These bees have 8 frames in the trap for eleven days, we looked and found 6 frames drawn already, including 4 that had foundation strips only. One thing I learned taking down the swarm trap 12 foot up in a tree. It was screwed to the tree, very hard to take down and still have a screw gun in you hand with the bee box too. When I hang it back up I'll hook it on some screws so it can be taken down with out a screw gun.
Surely the box was 15 pounds heavier than when I placed it in the tree. I'm hoping these bees will be moved to the farm with my other hive there. Six hives in our little backyard seems like a lot to Meg.
Next post will be about the garlic we planted last fall. Biggest garlic we have grown, one can barely get their hand around one.