Saturday, March 7, 2009

Bugs and Babies

Good news and bad news in the bee yard. First the bad news. I think my bees have Nosema, a stomach bug common in spring. Bees get it when they've been cooped up in their hive during cold spells. The brown smudges around the entrance indicate they might have upset tummies. The first good news...I have medicine for them. I mixed in 1/4 teaspoon of Fumagilin-B with their next bottle of sugar water, so they'll take it with their food. We put this bottle of medicated food on this afternoon.

Better news...while we were out there, we inspected inside the hive and found many good things. The picture below shows the nursery...with shiny white larvae and tiny white eggs and brown capped brood. Plus nurse bees attending the babies. The eggs and larvae indicate that the queen is alive and well....but there was also a brief queen spotting. She ducked down in the hive before we could take her picture, but she is definitely in there!
More good news...the bees have lots of stored pollen (the bright yellow patches, below) and honey. The honey on this picture is the dark brown to the right.

This is the top of the assistant bee keeper's head, and a whole frame of honey.

Soon we will go back out and switch the hive bodies, putting the now empty lower box on top and the active top box on bottom. Bees like to move UP. We'll also switch out the solid wood bottom board for a fancy screened bottom board. More on that later.

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