The bees have had over the weekend to adjust to their new surroundings. I can see some of the bees bringing in pollen on their legs which is great. And the queen is almost free on the stronger hive, I checked her yesterday and will be posting a video about it soon. The workers have been quite busy chewing through the candy. And they are almost all the way through. But on the weaker hive they were not even chewing away at the candy plug at all. So I freed the queen manually on the weaker hive.
Buying sugar for my bees has been alot of work, every time I goto stores I just buy all their 25 pound bags of sugar. So far ive had enough but I may have to venture further to find more if they ever run low. I am finding myself refilling the sugar water for the strong hive every few days. But this will change as the hive grows.
My custom wire entrance reducer was not functioning very well, so I removed them from the hive and installed the wooden ones that come with the hive. Around that time I noticed there were some different colored bees entering and exiting the hive.
These different colored bees wrestled with one of my lighter colored bees and they tumbled to the ground. This was a alarming to me, I thought maybe a wild hive out in the forest found my hive and was robbing. Though from what I have read this happens more in the summer and autumn months.
Maybe the different colored bees are indeed part of my hive colony? I read sometimes bees are slightly different colored from genetic variation. So maybe I should not be so alarmed if thats the case.
I stood around for a bit watching the bees after installing the new entrance reducer. I first tried the bigger opening, but I saw those different colored bees were still getting in.
Eventhough there is no honey for these mystery bees to rob, they can take the sugar water that I feed my bees which is not as big as a problem. But maybe the foreign bees would attack my queen.. really dont want that. IDK if that happens but just want to be proactive here in protecting my hive.
The tanglefoot I laid to keep the ants away seems to have worked great so far, though there were a few bee casualties. They appeared to land on it and got stuck and perished. Maybe a dozen bees, hopefully the other bees learned not to land there.
Doing some more research on when to use entrance reducers, they said a good time to use a small hole is when the hive is weak or really new. And since this hive is only a few days old and lacking reproduction at the moment, until the queen is freed I think it falls in that case of closing it up more.
Pollen can be seen on some of the workers legs above, they have special organs that hold pollen as they collect it from the flowers. Mason bees lack this organ.
I left the area and took my suit off to work on the sugar water feeders around 75 feet from the hives. But I returned later to take a picture of the hives from a distance. Looks like theres alot of bees flying around the entrance and some on the outside of the box. Hopefully I did not make too big of a queue entering and exiting the hive.
While checking on the 5 gallon bucket sugar water feeders I saw a bee feeding on them.. yay! that was the first time I saw them drinking from them.
I hope I set up the buckets correctly, I noticed they ooze sugar water over time but they have lasted over the weekend and still have enough for another day or two.
The little bee was quite busy getting a drink. Looks like one of mine, but not completely sure.
Next to the hive logo sugar water feeder. The sticker has been holding up well outside.
It stuck around for a few minutes moving around to drink from different angles.
At one point it just climbed into the water and had a drink that way... lol
I walked around and got a picture from behind.
Wrapping up for the day I take one more picture from a distance since im not wearing my suit, I can get about 20 feet from them before I get nervous being too close unprotected.
A zoomed in shot with my showing the bees queueing up outside the beehive. Hope they all get inside at night and be safe. They are not bearding like they did the first day on the package I installed poorly so hopefully they will be okay with the small opening to their hive.
Hoping that the different colored bees are just some genetic variation and not something I need to worry about. Making the opening very small will hopefully stop them from getting in if they are a foreign colony.
The bees in question have darker bands around their abdomen with much less yellow/orange color to their upper abdomen than the bees I brought here in the packages. See the three pictures above for examples of these two different colored bees hanging around the opening of the hive. I indeed saw them entering. And like I said earlier one of the yellow bees got into a tumble with the darker bee, so a little worried they may be another stronger hive coming to check out mine thats just getting started.
Next is to return in a few days and see if the strong hive has completely freed the queen. They are so close to chewing through the candy right now I did not want to free her and risk having her fly off if I did not put her into the hive quick enough. So hopefully very soon the queen will be free and start producing offspring. With pollen coming into the hive and wax already provided I hope to see some combs within the next week. And then the queen will have her work cut out for her laying alot of larva.