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My first package is working!

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Guard Bee

Joined: 29 Dec 2013
Posts: 59
Location: Newberry, FL, USA

PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:04 pm    Post subject: My first package is working! Reply with quote

While my hive-building skills are not all that great (the bees are using an alternative entrance that I didn't realize was there!), today was the day to check the queen cage -- I found the queen was NOT in her cage (yay!), and one of the top bars had fresh honeycomb about 3" across and 4" down (I didn't take a picture because it was still so fresh that it was bending as I lifted the bar). I didn't actually see the queen -- but I think given that workers were actively hanging in that long beard shape, there was fresh comb, a steady quiet buzz, and activity in and out of their entrance that all is well. Now, except for filling the feeder, I will leave them alone for a while, check comb building through window.

I haven't seen the bees on the flowers in the yard, though. I think it's because they are busy making comb -- until that's underway, there isn't anyplace to store nectar and pollen, so they are mostly eating at the feeding station and turning that energy immediately into comb building. Does that sound right?

Bees on Bars

Inside the Hive

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Quality Top Bar Hives by Andrew Vidler

Conserving wild bees

Research suggests that bumble bee boxes have a very low success rate in actually attracting bees into them. We find that if you create an environment where first of all you can attract mice inside, such as a pile of stones, a drystone wall, paving slabs with intentionally made cavities underneath, this will increase the success rate.

Most bumble bee species need a dry space about the size a football, with a narrow entrance tunnel approximately 2cm in diameter and 20 cm long. Most species nest underground along the base of a linear feature such as a hedge or wall. Sites need to be sheltered and out of direct sunlight.

There is a spectacular display of wild bee hotels here

More about bumblebees and solitary bees here

Information about the Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum)

Barefoot Beekeeper Podcast

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See beekeeping books for details and links to ebook versions.
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