Today we saw at least six hives in a series of gardens in the area. Our schedule evolved as we walked in the gardens.

Today’s topics addressed: basic inspection technique and record keeping, seasonal concerns, splits and swarm prevention, Queen Mating Test Program!

The bee packages were received on April 5 and they appear to be doing very well. Quite a lot of time was spent Saturday at the Barclay site watching new bees emerging from their cells, observing eggs and brood in various stages of development and several of the queens were pointed out. Most of the hives are already producing drone brood, which Peter tells us is a sign that they are feeling prosperous.

Peter showed us an interesting diagnostic for estimating the level of population of varroa mites in a hive: since varroa mites prefer to lay their eggs in drone brood, by opening three or four drone brood cells and inspecting the larvae to determine whether there is any varroa inside, you can get a sense of whether the mites have got a foothold in the hive. He did this in several of the hives, and we saw no varroa.

Sponsored by New York Beekeepers Association - 2014 Season