Dandelion Don’t Tell No Lies

Here’s a honey bee colony that seems to have benefited from dandelions that weren’t mowed down.

00:15 — Burr comb beneath the inner cover.
00:47 — Fresh comb made from yellow from dandelions.
01:00 — A frame of capped brood.
01:34 — Beautiful brood pattern.
01:49 — Close up of capped brood.
02:10 — Open brood (little white grubs).
02:25 — A closer look at the queen.
02:53 — Yellow burr comb.
03:50 — Honey bees scenting.
03:55 — Close up on fresh eggs in burr comb.
04:18 — Summary of inspection.

Plus some bonus material for those who bother to watch the whole thing.

Another story: I’ve collected a variety of hive components over the years and easily half of it doesn’t fit with the other half. Many of my supers, for instance, were constructed with slight defects that leave gaps and cracks between the supers — sometimes really big gaps. (I recently picked up several supers from another beekeeper and most of them leave gaps between the supers. This happens all the time.) None of the three supers that make up the hive in this video were made the same. One is 3 or 4 millimetres wider than the others. (Frames that are a few millimetres off are equally bothersome.) Another super is slightly taller than the others. The third one warped (maybe?) on the bottom, so it never leaves a clean seal between the supers. It’s these gaps that compel me to use duct tape to fill in the cracks. Little cracks aren’t a big deal, but this crack was so big that some bees were able to squeeze through it. So I used the left over burr comb to fill in the crack. (I often just use mud.) We’ll see how that works out.

A big gap between supers filled in with fresh beeswax (by a human, not the bees.) June 6th, 2020.

Of all my beekeeping pet peeves (what a gentle word for things that I annoy us to no end), I’d put this one near the top: Components that don’t fit together properly. It’s a little thing, but it can make beekeeping such a headache at times.