Saturday, May 21, 2011

honey bee ~ 05/21/11 ~ J's place

Pictured above is a top-bar hive a friend recently set-up in her garden. It's different than the typical box hives with frames as it allows the bees to make their own hanging wax comb. What I really liked was the observation window to see inside the hive - so totally cool! She ordered light-colored Cordovan queen and package bees specially bred for their gentleness and hygienic behavior from C F Koehnen & Sons here in CA. She's hoping mites won't be a problem with this hive as she's chosen not to treat her bees with chemicals. Her previous queens were Minnesota hygienic Italians and she's had great success with them.

My friend is quickly becoming the queen of bees herself. She started beekeeping for the first time last year at the beginning of May. I've been most impressed with the amount of research she's done on selecting traits in queens and types of equipment. I posted pictures of her 2 original hives on 07/01/10 and now she has several hives in 3 locations. Check out her pictures and a very loud video of the 2 swarms she had last year. Just a few days after the photos above were taken, another one of her hives swarmed on 05/25/11.

ps 06/21/11 - One of my favorite blogs I follow is Curbstone Valley Farm. Clare has recently redesigned her blog and I love it. To see her series of honey bee posts, click here.