Winter Bee Journal by Jimmy Earl Cooley
JEC BEE HIVES
I inspected my three beehives today and did not get stung! It was near 62 degrees at 3:30pm, sunny, with no wind. Opened primarily to add food and cursory inspection.
My three hives are Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Apiary Registration Permit XX-XXX, effective October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015.
The hives names are Hebert, Shirley, and Carollyn; with Hebert and Carollyn born from splitting the Shirley last spring. The Shirley hive was my strongest hive back then so I took several frames (honey, brood, queen cells) and divvied frames between two new brood boxes named Hebert and Carollyn. Later added a second brood box with empty frames to each of three hives.
Two brood boxes with inner cover and top cover. Later added a second brood box with empty frames to each of three hives. Located 200 yards from Shirley and Hebert.
The hive was not very active, only a few bees entering and leaving the small entrance hole. Put puff of smoke in entrance hole and under the raised top cover, waited 5 minutes and removed top and inner cover. Observed a small number of small hive beetles but bees were calm and did not bother me. There were very few in upper box but could hear lots of activity in lower box. Did not remove frames from upper box or inspect the lower box. Filled the frame feeder with H2O/C12H22O11 mixture and placed a 6”X4”X1/4” piece of Bee Bread and covered hive.
Two brood boxes with inner cover and top cover later added a second brood box with empty frames to each of three hives. Smoked, open top and inner cover for inspection and placing sugar water and bee bread. Saw approximately a dozen medium size red wood roaches running away and killed several. No hive beetles seen. There were bees in upper and lower boxes. Did not remove frames in upper box or inspect lower box. Bees were actively trying to get back in box through entrance hole.
Two brood boxes with inner cover and top cover. Later added a second brood box with empty frames to each of three hives. Smoked, removed top and inner cover for inspection and adding sugar water and bee bread. Saw no roaches or beetles. Lots of bees in this hive, upper and lower boxes. Many tried to sting me through veil and suit. Shirley and Hebert are in wooded opening facing my pond. Hives are approximately 50 ft apart.
All hives were clean but damp as we have had lots of rain the last week. There were not as many bees as I expected. Shirley had most and aggressive, suspect this is the original hive, with original queen that remained in the box at time of split and Carollyn and Hebert had to make a new queen. It has been mid November since I last looked at the hives. I harvested only three frames of honey this year for my use in August 2014.
Mr. Jimmy is a Master Gardener who started beekeeping a few years.