Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bee Meeting

We have joined a bee club this year because we wanted to have people we could learn from to help us with our own beekeeping.  Normally we meet in a church basement and have discussions about different topics relating to bees but the June meeting was at a fellow members house who has around 40 or so hives.  We split up into a couple of different groups and opened up lots of different hives.  Experienced bee keepers showed up what they do to inspect their hives and then we looked around each hive for different teaching points.  It was an excellent meeting because instead of just talking about bees this meeting I got to see what different beekeepers do.  I learned alot!

I have been curious what a queen cup looks like and finally saw many of them.  The large cell with opening facing down is a queen cup.  The larger cells around the queen cup are drone cells. 

It might seem cruel and unusual but the best way to check for mites is to pull out drone larva.  Drones are male bees and much larger, mites always go for the drone larva.  Since drones are only around to mate with virgin queens its not a big loss to the hive.  Can you see the mite on the larva on the right picture?

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