Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bubbly Nectar

Here is today's picture of the yard.

It's been hot lately.  My twin 5-frame nucs like to beard as a group.

Interesting thing I discovered today and have never seen before.  See if you can spot it.

If you said bubbly nectar, you win!
 I've never seen this before.  By the odor wafting from the hives, I'd say it's fermenting nectar.  So what's the cause?  If I were to make a guess, I'd think about the following things.  First, what flowers are blooming right now?  Are their nectars troublesome?  The main things I can see blooming at this time are chicory and clover, neither of which have I ever heard of this problem. 

Second, are the bees unable to cure the honey for some reason?  This is a possibility based on a few factors.  First, high humidity would make it difficult to cure honey.  Second, poor ventilation might cause the same problem.  All the hives I noticed this problem in today were ones that have a single 1.5" circular entrance.  The problem was more pronounced in 5-frame nucs, but also seen in single deep hives as well.  It was not seen in hives with more than one entrance or those with a wide bottom entrance.  In fact, in the picture above with the bearding bees, those are the hives where these frames were found.  They were not bearding this morning however.

I don't have a solid answer, but I think the second scenario is more likely, that poor ventilation is causing problems curing the honey, exacerbated by high humidity here in Arkansas.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cube Hives in Final Configuration

Harvested honey this past week, 17 gallons.  Here's a pic of the yard.

You can see the tan colored cube hives in the front middle. The one on the right is fully decked out and the one next to it is just getting going.