Sunday, June 14, 2009

Day 5

Some of the bees have graduated to field bee status - they are bringing in pollen - possibly bird's foot trefoil. I don't see it being packed anywhere, though. The nurse bees are likely using it all as it comes in. The bees are really eating down the capped comb. I'm glad nectar is coming in too. I'll have to figure out how to manipulate the frames without losing a lot of bees. I'm guessing I will have one day when the bees will be trapped outside of the observation hive on the closed porch, and Carolyn will not be happy.

I'm so on edge about the health of this little colony. I have a twinge of anxiety every time I look at the brood patch, and see the tail ends of so many bees - it looks like a colony that died of starvation. But it is only the back end of the nurse bees feeding larvae. I'll know soon whether the AFB contaminated this comb, these bees.

The nights are still a little chilly, so I'm going to bring them in for a couple nights more, to give the brood the best chance of emerging as early as possible.

The queen looks like she would really like to lay more eggs - probing around incessantly. But she must know that the eggs would be wasted because there just aren't enough nurse bees to cover the brood and keep it warm. As the days and nights get warmer, she'll be able to expand the brood area slightly.


sweetpea said...

Oh Kathy, the anguish of waiting to know the fate of your bees must be consuming! Your journey with bees is pure joy and I hope the comb your watching is spared from AFB! I am a big fan of Alice Waters! Her work is remarkable and inspiring, especially the Edible Schoolyard program!

pbird said...

kathy, if i didn't have a beepartner and relying on his equipment and mentorship, i would give my swarm to you!!