By , on April 26th, 2011

Half a million of newbees, Part 2

by Zachary Huang, Associate Professor, Michigan State University

Day 2, Friday, April 22.
Dr. Samina Qamer and I went to the “George Yard”, about 25 miles away and near the Sleepy Hollow State Park. Here we used 12 buckets (2 gallon ones) as feeders and 2 ziplock bags for the rest (A total of 14 colonies). A medium super is not quite tall enough to house the bucket (probably 1″/2.54 cm short), but it is better than nothing.

All the shots below were by an infrared modified camera, but unprocessed (which involves channel swapping using Photoshop, do not have time right now :(

The hives before installation.

Shaken bees

Dr. Qamer smilingļ¼Œ infrared can “see” through the veil much better than a regular camera.

Bucket as a feeder, probably better than any other type (hive top feeder/in hive frame feeder: to many bees drowned; ziplock: difficult to control flow rate; entrance feeder: too cold to be used now), if the screen is not broken (which could lead to a leak).

Almost all done. I was still learning (even after 10 years of installing packages), here I put an empty super on top, thinking that it would be easier to shake the bees into it (instead of shaking into the deep with 3 frames removed, which one would have a hard time putting the frames back because of the pile of bees on the bottom). I put the inner cover on….30 min later, the bees mostly clustered around the queen cage, metal can, and hanging on to the inner cover! Bees always want to move UP (if it is dark). They will move down if exposed to light. So in the end we doubled our time because we had to brush all the bees back before putting the inner cover on top of the deep and putting the bucket feeder on.


You need a plugin called Quicktime Player to see the following videos automatically. It was recorded by the old Nikon coolpix 990 camera. 40 seconds max, no audio.

Here Dr. Qamer shows the steps before shaking the bees:

Here Dr. Qamer shows the actual shaking. Please click the link below to watch the video — my code to prevent auto start does not work :(

DSCN1790.MOV

Day 3, Saturday, April 23.
Shot by D70, a 6 year old camera (bought March 2004).

I wanted to see how the ziplock bags were doing since I had no prior experience with them. I found 2 bags almost totally empty (probably a leak near the zipper) and most did not leak enough. I had to put another 4-10 holes for each bag to make the bees happy.

I saw three deers on the road there, right in front of another house! Beekeeping really puts you in close contact with nature!

This one must be a baby. They are always so curious and would look straight into your eyes (or camera!).

Look at the wonderful beeswax already! Only 2 days, not yet 48 hours after installation.

I found one queen out of 3 colonies…She is a beauty! A blondie. She has 2 copies of a mutated gene called Cordovan, which makes her a reddish leather color and all pink legs.

End of Part 2.

3 comments to Half a million of newbees, Part 2

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