Monday, December 27, 2010

Hive with Snow Cap

This photo was taken from my kitchen window in Brooklyn at noon on Monday, December 27, 2010.

The hive base can barely be seen at the snow line. Hidden by the snow is a hive stand that is held up by a piece of plywood on top of a shipping pallet raised above the ground by plastic coke crates. I estimate the snow is over three feet deep below the hive.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

NPR Science Friday: From Hive Politics to Beekeeping

There was an excellent episode of NPR's Science Friday this past Friday about how bees communicate and make decisions when swarming.

The show was broadcast just before Christmas and the 200th birthday of Lorenzo Langstroth, the "Father of American Beekeeping."

I was especially impressed with the recorded sounds that bees make during the various stages of swarming.

You can find a transcript of the NPR show here and/or listen to the show on-line.
Here's the link to the MP3 if you want to download the show and listen off-line.

The Science Friday page has links to videos with segments including the "piping" sounds that the swarm produces when the decision has been made about the location of the new home for the swarm.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Between rain storms: An Iimirie Shim added as a upper vent & entrance

There was a gap in the rainstorms this Sunday that was forecast to last a couple of hours.  I had noticed some condensation on the Seran wrap where the styrofoam hive top feeder rested on the upper hive box.

With the hive feeder on top of the hive there was no way for water vapor to escape from the hive.

I put together an Imirie Shim that I had purchased some time ago. My plan was to put it on top of the hive box and then take the styrofoam feeder off and replace it with the brown plastic multi-feeder.

Outside temperature was 52 degrees. When I tilted up the styrofoam feeder I noticed that there were some bee on the bottom of the feeder.  I slid the Imirie shim in under the feeder but decided not to replace the styrofoam feeder with the multi-feeder until later when the bees were clustered.

Before I packed it in for the day I tacked a wooden hive reducer to the front of the upper hive box, just below the opening of the Imirie Shim.  I wanted to provide the bees with a little landing ledge for when they returned from their cleansing flights on the warmer winter days.

By having the opening toward the front, I figured that air would enter from the lower front entrance and travel up the front wall of the hive and out the opening of the Imirie Shim.

One final act was to put a perforated transportation entrance closer across the lower entrance, with the movable section pushed toward the center so the bees could go in and out at their habitual location, on the left side of the "front porch".