Episode-128- How To Observe Honey Bee Hives

These videos were compiled over a one week period to note some of my external and internal observations of the 2 honey bee hives on my property. I love getting up close and personal with the bees. I’m usually just in shorts and a t-shirt when shooting some of the video and the bees

never seem to mind. They are too busy making their colonies strong enough to get through the upcoming winter. There are foragers coming and going throughout these observations and lots of young bees taking their initial training flights just outside the hives.

Dead bees outside of Hive A which is located in the gazebo are easy to find and observe for cause of death. Most seem to be dead of natural overwork which is the typical demise of a honey bee. They work and then they die. There’s no retirement and pat on the back waiting at the end of the line for honey bees. Their goal is colony propagation and it is truly a life of one for and all for one.

During the Hive A inspection my new beekeeper friend Marsha Barton and I noticed a small black snake crawl up from the gazebo floor and wiggle its way outside. It’s nice to know that any mice living under the gazebo are providing a food supply to another animal.

Marsha noted wax moth eggs on the outside of Hive A and showed me the small groove that a moth must have carved on its way into the hive. There was no indication of wax moths and I’ll be vigilant going forward now that I know what to look for. Hive A’s sticky board also a very small number of Varroa mites. less than 10 which is pretty typical. both hives are Russian honey bees which are noted for the frequent brushing of each other. This helps to keep any mites in check. I also put some powdered sugar in a baby powder dispenser and blew it on the backs of bees from both hives. They will then spend some time cleaning each other off while having a snack. Any mites are then shaken off through the screened bottom board and onto the sticky board. Marsha also taught me a better way of using my hive tool to scrape propolis and that is to pull it off with the curved end of the tool.

Having two hives is very important for analyzing hive activity because it allows for comparison that was previously unavailable. The inter changeability of hive parts, brood and honey stores also permits greater management and survival potential of the hives. There will be more videos and observations coming as the activity of the hives comes to a crescendo as winter approaches and preparations are completed. Keep coming back for more.

How to manage honey bees by my favorite advisers


Song of the Day – Mumford And Sons – Below My Feet  – SNL Live Video

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *