Tuesday, September 04, 2007

making honey

(cell phones are NOT the cause)

feral bee colony


Sunday, July 02, 2006

because this had been a free hanging colony of feral bees, i left the hive top open wide, and all of the bees had returned to the hive before dark

most of the comb containing honey was left outside the hive entrance for the bees

the bees soon began to cluster on the vines i had left just outside of the hive; but since it was getting late in the afternoon i was not overly concerned about a full blown swarm

i clipped the vines and shook the bees back on top of the frames, and puffed some smoke on the arbor

the next thing i know, bees were in the air all around me

i guess the honeybees had decided that i had messed with them just a little too much, and they were starting to cluster in the grape arbor nearby

a worker grooming herself only seconds after emergence

as i was working i was able to observe worker bees chewing the caps off their cells

worker, cells with eggs, and a few capped worker cells

(click on the photo for a closer view)

this is the same section of comb after it was removed

a total of six shallow frames of eggs and capped brood were removed from this colony and placed into frames

a section of comb that is still attached to the rest of the colony

from left to right:
new, empty comb
capped worker cells
older worker cells that have already hatched out - now containing new eggs

this is how the frame looks full of comb

the bees will draw out comb to fill in the gaps

sections of comb placed into shallow frames and held in place with rubber bands

a good-sized piece of brood comb with capped worker cells and many eggs

notice there are no capped larvae anywhere- this colony was missing a queen for a period of time

separating the comb by pulling the blackberry canes outward

although there was much comb, the bees had been able to store only a little bit of honey

this made the job of removing sections of brood comb much easier

Apis labia
wavy layers of comb seen after applying a little bit of smoke

the following morning i covered the bucket containing the bees with a sheet and transported them home at dawn

close up view of colony measuring @ 30"L X 18"W

the blackberries were cut away from the colony then the entire colony of honeybees was removed and placed in a large bucket in the afternoon

free hanging colony of bees
found living in blackberries on
the edge of town on 06/28/2006

the comb is built around 5-6 blackberry canes

(photo taken after the colony had been removed from the blackberries and transported home)
capturing a feral colony of honeybees

Monday, June 26, 2006

reflections on our our role in the landscape and ways we can facilitate natural processes

willamette daisy
(erigeron decumbens)

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