Saturday, March 8, 2014

Seed starting has begun

Last Monday I started some tomatoes and they are up and received their thinning. I started Black Plum and Jasper Violet from the seeds I saved last year. I also trying Mortgage Lifter and Abraham Lincoln this year. All of these are heirlooms. I left the clear cover on the mortgage lifters and Abraham Lincoln tomatoes a day too long and I started getting white fuzzy stuff on the soil surface. Hopefully by taking the cover off it dries up and that will go away.

I have Black Plum and Jasper Violet seeds leftover if anyone would like to trade.

Friday, March 7, 2014

First hive inspection of the year

Today has been the first day of 50° sunny day of the year. I thought I would use the awesome weather to look into the hives. I bought some fondant on the way home from work. I know there is bad stuff in it especially since I bought it at Walmart. But I figured it is better than nothing. And being in NE Ohio it is too early for sugar water, it will just freeze tonight. I don't use any chemicals, so if this is the worst thing I put on my hives, then I can live with that.
Here is the fondant, it comes in a big block. I cut it into junks and then rolled it thin to fit under the inner cover. I used some powdered sugar to keep it from sticking to everything.

Upon going to the bee yard I noticed all my hives look like this. Poo everywhere!!! I hope the don't have nosema.

These are my hives. Starting from the left, is a small hive that I got as a swarm call last year, if you look in earlier posts, this is the swarm that was just on the ground. It is alive but week. There is no poo on the inside of the hive. I laid fondant across the frames.
2nd hive from the left is dead, but it was dead before winter, it was another but much smaller swarm I caught last year.
3rd hive from the left, all the bees are up in the top box, very week, alot of dead bees and a small cluster. I did not dig to deep since they were all the way on top. I laid fondant across the frames.
4th hive from the left a complete dead hive. Very few dead bees. This was a very strong hive going into winter, and for the amount of bees that were in there before winter, there should bee more dead bees.:(
5th hive from left this is the one with the most poo on it. I couldn't here any bees inside, but when I popped the covers off surprise bees at the very top. I removed just 1 frame and there were lots of bees. I didn't see any poo on the inside, but I didn't do a complete inspection. I laid some fondant on the frames.
6th hive from the left. Awesome, pure awesome. Had a few dead bees in the honey super, not bad. I cleaned them out. This hive a queen excluder on it. I took it off to look further and this hive is just full of bees. I didn't inspect too much, but they looked healthy. I put fondant on the frames, put the queen excluder on and put the honey super back on. I have to check by records I think this is the second winter for this hive.

Poo everywhere!!! Is this normal or is this a sign of nosema?? If it stays warm I have going to try some sugar water with honey be healthy in it. It has worked in the past. Hang on girls just a little more time.

This is the dead hive, plenty of food stores.


Still the dead hive. No bees with butts sticking out???

Another shot of dead hive.

Dead bees.

Not a very big pile of dead bees, this hive was thriving before winter.

This hive is covered, they are using the top as their entrance, this hive has to have nosema, I have never seen it this bad.