Posts Tagged ‘bees on Oregon Coast’

Standing tall, Bee Beard Log hive is doing well since it was revived in August 2014. It swarmed at least once on May 11, but that swarmed moved on without us capturing it.

Standing tall, Bee Beard Log hive is doing well since it was revived in August 2014. It swarmed at least once on May 11 of this year, but that swarm moved on without us getting it.

Sept. 23...Lots of good orange pollen being carried into this hive. This hive will go into winter without me intervening in any way.

Sept. 23…Lots of good orange pollen being carried into this hive. This hive will go into winter without me intervening in any way.

Sept. 17...These birdhouse bees are doing so well, I'm starting to think that small bee hives are the way to go. This hive has no other openings other than the entrance. I don't understand how they can survive without much ventilation, but they are doing well, which is a good way to head into the winter shadow.

Sept. 17…These birdhouse bees are doing so well, I’m starting to think that small bee hives are the way to go. This hive has no other openings other than the entrance. I don’t understand how they can survive without much ventilation, but they are doing well, which is a good way to head into their second winter shadow.

Here's a closer look at the entrance showing how crowded they are.

Here’s a closer look at the entrance showing how crowded they are.

The video shows the amount of pollen flying in. This is at 125x (digital zoom) and not as sharp.

The video shows the amount of pollen flying in.

May 14...The day after the big swarm moved into the Grandkids Log hive, Bee-atrice went into swarm mode.

May 14…The day after the big swarm moved into the Grandkids Log hive, Bee-atrice log hive went into swarm mode.

May 14...Ron got this one. He lives just up the road. I'm happy to report that Ron says they are doing well. They are active and bringing lots of pollen. They can be seen flying well here... https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Byp0gCTqCQ6rZjBJVmZOa0FJZzQ/view?usp=sharing

May 14…Ron got this one. He lives just up the road. I’m happy to report that Ron says they are doing well. They are active and bringing in lots of pollen.
They can be seen flying well here…

Sept. 23...I'm down to only one Warre hive now. It's doing well with lots of pollen coming in. You can see Bee-atrice Log hive 'shuttered' in the background. When the wasps were running rampant inside, I had to wrap it up. I'll clean it out (scorch it) come spring and try to attract another swarm.

Sept. 23…I’m down to only one Warre hive now. It’s doing well with lots of pollen coming in. You can see Bee-atrice Log hive ‘shuttered’ in the background. When the wasps were running rampant inside, I had to wrap it up. I’ll clean it out (scorch it) come spring and try to attract another swarm.

Bees head into the Warre loads of pollen. This hive is heavy. I haven't taken any honey from it. I think they will make it through the winter without me feeding.

Bees head into the Warre loaded with pollen. This hive is heavy. I haven’t taken any honey from it. I think they will make it through the winter without me feeding.

Sept. 23, 2015...Sad to say, this hive is not going to make it. The temperature started falling in mid July, and now I see wasps nosing around and drones flying out.

Sept. 23, 2015…Sad to say, the Grand Kids Log hive is not going to make it. The temperature started falling in mid July, and now I see wasps nosing around and drones flying out.  The Grand Kids are back.

Sept. 3...Temperature is down to 87F (30C)

Sept. 3…Temperature is down to 87F (30C)

Sept. 21...Looking up into the empty combs, this hive is clearly NOT going to make it. When the wasps start attacking, I'll plug up the entrances and wait until spring. Maybe I'll get lucky with another swarm...

Sept. 21…Looking up into the empty combs, I see a lack of bees.  Clearly the queen isn’t laying and I’ve seen a few drones exiting.   Footnote:  This hive must have superceded a queen, because there are not only new bees, but also new comb.  This is the only hive I can see from the house…from where I eat actually, and I gotta say, I’m so happy to see the bees flying to and from this hive when I sit down to eat!!!

Steve says his swarm 'is hanging in there,' but he's starting to feed again because they haven't built up enough comb to get them through the winter.

Steve says his swarm ‘is hanging in there,’ but he’s starting to feed again because they haven’t built up enough comb to get them through the winter.

We are headed into autumn with four hives, which is all I ever really wanted, but I had really hoped that Grand Kids Log hive would be among the survivors.  It begs the question…are smaller hives better?  I’m beginning to think so.  I’ve thought about partitioning off the big log hive, but then there might be air flow issues.  The birdhouse bees seem to deal with lack of air flow, so maybe it won’t be an issue.  Right now I’ll let nature take it’s course and hope I can attract another swarm in spring.

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I could have shot a bunch of stills of these bees pollinating flowers, but the video together with the music conveys so much more.

I hope you especially enjoy the leaf cutter bees demonstrating their petal cutting abilities and the crab spider attacking the honeybee…and missing!  Hooray!

I shot some more video today (August 7) to show that the bees are still going strong on the African Blue Basil in August.  It’s good to have something for them after the main nectar flow of blackberries.  Jeff Kerker says that the African Blue Basil will produce flowers all summer.

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A frame from the video shows the bee covered with purple pollen.

A frame from the video shows the bee covered with purple pollen.

This bee fell from the poppy which was wet from the sprinkler.  I spotted it here before it took off.

This bee fell from the poppy which was wet from the sprinkler. I spotted it here before it took off.

June 19...Unidentified street performers provide the perfect background music for the bee gathering poppy pollen video.

June 19…Unidentified street performers provide the perfect background music for the bee gathering poppy pollen video.

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5-27-15...Pink Chintz Thyme

5-27-14…Pink Chintz Thyme attracted bees last year

Butterflies like them too.

Butterflies like them too.

June 29, 2014...English Thyme

June 29, 2014…English Thyme

Head first in pink Thyme

Head first in pink Thyme

June 29...English Thyme

June 29…English Thyme

6-4-13...Red Thyme

6-4-13…Growing as a ground cover, this red thyme is hard to see until you bend down close.

Health benefits of thyme…

To finish out the beautiful music of La Tabú, I added some video of this new plant…a type of St. John’s Wort called HyPearls Hypericum.

July 10, 2014...HyPearls Hypericum attracted many bees, usually in the morning hours.

July 10, 2014…HyPearls Hypericum attracted many bees, usually in the morning hours.

You can understand why it's called HyPearls.

You can understand why it’s called HyPearls.

 

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November 5, 2014...On an unusually warm November day, I spotted these hebes growing in front of Bill Sweet Insurance Agency.  The bees were loving it.

November 5, 2014…On an unusually warm November day, I spotted these hebes growing in front of Bill Sweet Insurance Agency. The bees were loving it.  Thanks, Bill.

While the east coast is getting hammered by the polar vortex cold weather, the west coast is enjoying warm sunny days into early November. At this time of year there are very few sources of nectar, so it’s good that the honeybees are getting  a lot from the hebes.  Nectar provides an important energy source (carbohydrate) for the bees.

Many thanks to Steve Montana who has let me use his musical talents as background to the video.  “GaelaMae On The Bluffs” was written by Steve and the banjo music was written by Buell Kasey back in the late 1800’s.  Watch Steve Montana play banjo at the beginning of Sustainable World.  Click on “Soldier’s Joy.”

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Many thanks to Steve Montana for permission to use his music.

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January 15, 2014  I mentioned the mites this hive and what I was going to do about it..."NOTHING!" (...hoping the bees would know what to do)

January 15, 2014…I noticed a bunch of varroa mites on the bottom board.  What was I going to do about it?  “NOTHING!” (I was hoping the bees would know what to do)

A pile of dead bees that had been dumped out of the hive sometime earlier. This picture was taken from a video I shot in April. The dead bees had been there for a while, but I just couldn't bring myself to photograph them. Too depressing.  It's possible these are all drones with deformed wing virus. I wish I had looked closer and examined them.   I guess I should be happy that the other bees cleaned them out.

A pile of dead bees that had been dumped out of the hive sometime earlier. This picture was taken from a video I shot in April. The dead bees had been there for a while, but I just couldn’t bring myself to photograph them. Too depressing. It’s possible these are all drones with deformed wing virus. I wish I had looked closer and examined them. I guess I should be happy that the other bees cleaned them out of the hive.  It shows there are healthy bees that are cleaning up.

April 18, 2014...Box #3 is almost full, I'd better add a 4th box, which is what I did.

April 18, 2014…Box #3 is almost full, I’d better add a 4th box, which is what I did, but that was before the hive started to swarm.  Compare the numbers to May 20th below.

 May 10, 2014...The second swarm that came out of Warre2 in less than two weeks.  I was able to transfer this swarm into a third Warre hive which is doing fine as of this date.

May 10, 2014…The second swarm that came out of Warre2 in less than two weeks. I was able to transfer this swarm into a third Warre hive which is doing fine as of this date. (I just noticed some evidence of DWV bees being evicted in October ’14.)

May 20...Elvis has left the building.  10 days after the second swarm, there's only a few bees left in this the third box.

May 20…Ten days after the second swarm, there’s only a few bees left in this the third box.

June 11...There's been a small group of bees milling around the entrance for weeks.

June 11…There’s been a small group of bees milling around the entrance for weeks.   They don’t seem to have any ambition.  Are they sick?  Maybe.

July 14...Even fewer bees in July.  That means (to me) only one thing.  This hive is going nowhere.  It's all over except for the robbing.

July 14…Even fewer bees in July. That means (to me) only one thing. This hive is going nowhere. It’s all over except for the robbing.

July 14...this is a shot at the middle box showing very few bees.  I'm just waiting for the robbing to start, but after tilting the hive, I realize there's really no honey to rob.

July 14…this is a shot at the middle box showing very few bees. I’m just waiting for the robbing to start, but after tilting the hive, I realize there’s really no honey to rob.

I’ve seen a hive get robbed.  It isn’t pretty.  Once it starts there’s no stopping it.  If it did get robbed, I was planning to take the new comb, freeze it (in case of wax moths), and save for future bait hives.

July and August came and went.  No robbing took place.  A swarm from my log hive presented itself on August 6.  I contemplated combining it with this weak hive, but in the end, that swarm went into Bee Beard log hive of it’s own accord.

September 20...It's possible there are a few more bees showing.

September 20…It’s possible there are a few more bees showing in this top box.

September 20...There are definitely more bees here.

September 20…There are definitely more bees here in the middle box than in the July 14 view.  The hive is building back up.

September 28...the activity around the hive has picked up dramatically.  No more milling about.  Bees are bringing in pollen.

September 28…the activity around the hive has picked up dramatically. No more milling about. Bees are bringing in pollen.

Could this mean the hive has come back?  Could it be that by taking this long brood break, the hive has reduced the varroa mite population naturally and now has started building up it’s numbers again?

 

A look through the observation windows in the back of the hive shows the top box full of empty comb, the middle box being full of bees and comb, and the bottom box with bees and old comb.  The question is…why aren’t the bees working the empty comb in the top box?

A short video showing how fast the honeycomb built up.  Luckily we are having an Indian summer into October.  I’m athinking I won’t have to feed this hive this year as our winters are fairly mild and they have honey stores now.

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