New Year

So, the year is almost halfway done and it’s been quite some time since my last post. I’ll just go over what has happend in the mean time. We had a winter with really high temperatures. I was lucky that there were a few days with freeing temperatures near the winter solstice, otherwise any Varroa treatment wouldn’t have been all that effective. Not that I know how effective the treatment was…my varroa drawer is completely weather worn and no longer fits. Apparently wasn’t water proof plywood.

The high temperatures during winter, I think, was the only reason the colony lived through winter. The colony sparsely covere 4 frames. Hardly 3 during the winter oxalic acid treatment.

Winter was mild but the cold weather in spring seemed to last for ever. It’s only recently gotte better. By recently I mean end of april. It was unseasonably good a little over a week ago (10-11th of may), it went from 14-15 degrees°C (57-59 °F) to 23-25°C (73-77 °F). That was two weeks early compared to normal, so said the weatherman.

The colony seems to have exploded recently as evidenced by the pictures, two frames are completely full of closed brood, many others have a mix between closed and open brood. They seem to be asking for a second brood chamber. They will be getting one soon. I still need to do some maintenance that I should have done in winter.

IMG_20160519_151636Then I will be placing them nearer home in a communal vegetable garden, at walking distance from home. Here I also placed my new hive. I will dedicate a post to that hive soon.

My only fear is that someone will be stung by bees from my old hive. They are not as peaceful as the bees in the new colony. In the Netherlands they call a colony like that an F16 colony….. I’ll explain. A first generation pure breed queen is called a P1 queen. A daughter queen of a P1 queen is called an F1 queen. A daughter of an F1 queen is an F2 queen etc… 16 generations after a pure breed queen you would get an F16 queen. Generally it is believed under beekeepers in the Netherlands that mixed breed bees are more agressie…. So bees from a F16 queen resemble an F16 jet… or am I underestimating your intelligence now.

I can agree that my first colony is quite feisty. They try really hard to do me harm when I bother them for to long. But I don’t really blame them. I will try to introduce a more docile queen by removing the queen and all consequent queen cells then give them a frame with eggs from the, as of yet unnamed, second hive. The resulting queen, an F2, will perhaps produce more friendly bees with which we can cuddle.