Well, the bees were a big hit at Classical Conversations (Liv's home school). She got up and sang the whole 1st verse and chorus to "I'm In Better Hand's Now". It was just amazing! I am so proud of her, she said, "well, I was a bit nervous dad, but I just sang anyway." How awesome, spoken like a truly beyond her yeas 5yr old. Tracy finished up the song, while Liv did her own "interpretive" dance to the music, then joined back in on the final chorus. It was great.
Then we talked about the family bees. It sure is fun telling everyone that we have over 1/2 a million bees. The questions are always so fun to answer. It always impresses me how much people know about bees, but I must admit, the parents at CC were especially "in the know." If any of you are reading this, you certainly do your homework when it comes to all natural ingredients, like honey. Although it wasn't the reason that we took the bees, I think that we have several new customers from the presentation. Livy sure enjoyed showing "her" bees off to her friends, and they loved checking them out just a much. It was a very fun time. Lots of compliments and questions.
Stopped by the Home Depot on the way to the house and they had 6~8' Japanese Maples on sale for $80. So, of course we had to go and get one. But first I had to get all those girls back into the hive. It was so nice, Tracy cme to help me. I really liked that! She has been showing more interest in the bees and wanting to learn about taking care of them. So, I was really excited when she asked if she could go over to the hives with me while I put the frame from the observation hive back in. I am going to have to get her suited up soon, so she can look down in a hive while I do an observation.
Where is the queen? Well, after looking for her yesterday in the parent hive of the split and not finding her. I can only assume that she either left with a swarm, or is in the nuc that I made from the hive. As it was getting late in the day and we needed to go if we wanted to purchase that tree. I quickly put the frame back into the hive and will have to check on the split tomorrow.
Happy Easter! Swarm season is here! We besides the two calls for swarm removal that we have gotten. I checked into one of the double deep hives that came from Dave and found 8 Queen cells. One was ready to hatch and we soon should have a virgin queen in that hive within the next 24~48 hours. I checked the hive very closely for the existing queen and could not locate her. So, I am hoping that I got her with the split that I made of this hive last week and these are all new queens due to the hive being queenless.
It amazes me to look inside a hive and then check back a week later to see how much the landscape has changed. The phrase "busy as a bee" certainly is a true one. I found comb almost completely drawn on foundation that was put in only a week ago. Also, please don'e ever tell me that plastic foundation is better than wax! I put 2 wax foundation frames in and left 2 plastic. Here was the configuration: 1W, 2P, 3C, 4B, 5B, 6B, 7C, 8W, 9P. Where W=wax foundation, P=plastic foundation, C=comb, B=brood. Both the wax foundation frames had comb drawn on them this week (just 1 week later). The plastic were still bare. So, I as if I wasn't already... I am truly a firm believer in wax foundation. I have either culled or planned to cull all plastic foundation from the new hives (sorry Dave).
Another thing that i have become a big fan of is running 9 frames in all boxes. The bees just seem to like this configuration better. Of course you do have to watch it when they don't have drawn comb as they will pull the comb out a bit too far on one side if you have it next to a frame of foundation. I have found this only to be a minor nuisance. Flipping the frames 180, or dropping a frame of comb in next to them seems to do the trick when they do get a bit wild.
OK, so the main reason for the inspection... I was pulling a frame of bees for my daughter's school presentation. Tomorrow, is our family's turn to present at my youngest daughter's home school Co Op. It should be lots of fun and I am so looking forward to hearing her and my wife sing. Basically, every family gets one day out of the school year to tell about themselves and present what they like to do as hobbies, work, etc... So, we will talk about our love of music and then the girls will sing. Then I will show off the bees.