Thursday, June 10, 2010

Attention ladies: There really is life outside the hive!

I have to admit that I've been a little concerned about the new orange hive. Why? Because its seems that its been extremely slow to respond after last week's split. Every day I've watched this hive to see what the bees were doing. And other than the occasional bee flying in or out, not much has really been going on.  

Honestly I couldn't understand it. When I made the first split weeks ago, the green hive was busy with bees out and exploring within three or four days. But not the orange hive. Six and a half days later, and there wasn't much of anything going on. I was so concerned that I opened the hive on Tuesday evening just to see what was happening, and I found a deep chamber with lots of bees just sitting there. Some of the bees were newly hatched, all bright yellow and fuzzy, and there was lots of capped brood yet to hatch, but the house bees just seemed to be lifeless and bored.

But that all changed. On the seventh day, Wednesday afternoon, the lethargic hive came alive! While looking out the kitchen window, I noticed a flurry of activity in front of the hives, and when I took a closer look, I realized that much of it was in front of the orange hive. I grabbed up my camera and headed for the yard, and what I found was a whole volley of bees doing orientation flights from the orange hive. Like all bees do, they would crawl out on the entrance or the face of the hive, then they would start the slow back and forth flight in the front of their home. Once they got a few feet off the ground, they would start making smaller circles -- and the higher they got -- the wider the circles -- then they would fly off in all directions.

Seeing that made me feel a lot better about this colony. It is my hope that since they now know where their home is, they'll start doing what bees are supposed to do and that's to forage and fend for themselves. And while I do feel better, I'm sure that I'll still have some concerns about them until I see the constant traffic coming and going like I do at the other two hives.

But you know, just in case, I'll be here to nurse them right along.


  1. Great news on your hive. That orange is bright! I'm struggline with wax moths in my weak hive... ugh!

  2. Mark,

    Your hives look great - my husband loves the colors! I'm glad to hear that the new queens seem to be doing well.

    One of my hives has been queenless now for 3 weeks (!!) and I'm a bit nervous about adding one at this point, but they are still foraging which I'm taking as a good sign. Tate's should have a queen for me next week. We're going to try to inspect on Sunday if we have time to get an idea of how many bees have actually stuck around. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

    Have a good weekend :)



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