Tag Archives: queen

Queenlessness and Heat Wave = Bad News

23 Jul

I am sad to report to you that in the past three check-ins, the following has happened:

1) The hive replaced the original queen with a new one

2) The new queen then left (we were hoping she will mate and come back, but she has not come back for 3 weeks)

3) The heat wave is killing of what’s left of the hive (usually, a thriving hive can regulate its temperature, but we’ve lost too many and the hive is dwindling.)

We have been recommended to re-queen (get a replacement queen), but there may not be enough bees left in the hive after this heat wave.

Packaged bees for sale (to repopulate the hive) are all gone at this point in the year.

Worst case scenario, we will have to start over again next year — We hope to start the season earlier next year, and continue to take classes and visit other hives in the city to learn to be better beekeepers.

PHOTO: Gardening has been a steep learning curve as well – The first batch of seeds simply got baked in rooftop heat because I left the flats’ lids on. The second batch is doing well, but only the toughest of the seedlings are surviving the heatwave. The flats in the photo with the biggest seedlings have a layer of coir (coconut fiber) pellets underneath the soil. The ones that are not doing so well, are just solid soil.



The Bees are Coming! The Bees are Coming!

11 May

Finally, the bees will be arriving this Saturday morning.

Posting a picture of the painted hive. I found a wooden pallet discarded on the street, so I decided to use it as a base. Cinder blocks are coming this Friday to prop them up.

My landlord has also gotten very enthusiastic about this, as his uncle was a “master beekeeper” and lived to be 105 years old. He sent me this article in Edible Queens, as a clipping, in snail mail. Here’ s the online version for young folks: http://www.ediblecommunities.com/queens/spring-2011/queens-bees.htm

(Note: Not all the hives will be used in the beginning, but that’s how they look if they are all stacked together).

Waiting for the Queen Bee

16 Apr

Phil and I have gotten all the parts of the beehive, and have put together the hive. It was like going to IKEA and putting everything together, ourselves, all 55 of them (50 wax foundations and 5 outer frames). I’ve uploaded the pictures of us assembling the hive on Flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ovalle/5648392856/in/set-72157626438666865

The weather has not been cooperating:

The Queen Bee has not been mated due to bad weather (…yes, she’s got to get laid before they can send her and the worker bees from Georgia), so we’re patiently waiting for the estimate time of arrival which is now “sometime after Easter”. In a nutshell, the bees mate mid-air. The drones (the guys) from other hives congregate in one area, and the Queen Bee flies to them. She gets all she needs at this “congregation” to lay eggs for the rest of her 2-3 yr lifespan.

This weekend, if the weather is good, then I can paint and weatherproof the hive, but so far, it’s been rainy and cold…

As for the “Green Roof” part of the project, my son Kai and I went to the workshop for gardening at Queens Botanical Garden. I checked out their Bee Garden while we were there and have uploaded the pictures of that as well.

The folks at Seeds of Change have been extremely generous in sending us a whole box of organic, heirloom seeds (100 packets, worth over $300 retail!!!) FOR FREE — All we paid was shipping. They had a campaign called “Sowing Millions” where they gave out a million seeds for free to people. I also got a packet of “Save the Bees” seed blend at Whole Foods, just to see what flowers were in it. I’ve uploaded the photos of the seed packets.

Until around June August when the flowers get in full bloom, the bees will be on a diet of organic cane sugar syrup so that they have enough nutrients to build out the hive. By then, I hope to have the garden beginning to bloom.