Live Beehive Video Camera

We started beekeeping on April 25th, 2015. Our first year was a great learning experience (details below). On most days the camera is fairly boring to watch but we hope the camera along with  our detailed beekeeping notes below will help or inspire or people to keep bees. Hive is located in Arvada Colorado. You can ask questions or leave comments at the bottom of this page.



Beekeeping Log:

May 3rd, 2016: Today I captured a swarm in our neighborhood. Big group hanging on a tree. I peeked over the person’s fence and saw their neighbor had 4 hives so I know where the swarm came from! I’ve just hived them in the back yard next to the existing hive so for the first time ever the Paulsen family has 2 hives. The 2nd hive has brand new boxes but I’ve put in frames from last year’s hive that already have a lot of comb and in a few spots some capped honey. This will hopefully get them off to a fast start. I adjusted the camera so that viewers can see both hives.

April 25th, 2016: Today I captured a swarm at a Hilton hotel in the Tech Center of Denver. The local ABC affiliate met me there and filmed the entire process. Brought them home and put them in a hive. I’m using frames from last year’s hive. Some frames have capped honey, others are just comb. Hopefully it will help the hive thrive to have a head start despite having to clean up the old and dirty frames.

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ARCHIVE:

Click the below months to expand the updates from those months including the pictures.

  • October 12th, 2015: I’ve not been diligent over the last month plus in putting updates here. Our beehive failed this year. I spent some time yesterday clearing everything out and putting it into storage for the spring when we will try again. About 4 weeks ago I did a good inspection and found the Super was still untouched. In looking closely I found evidence of Mites in the hive. We ordered a fogger and used mineral oil to attempt to clear the hive of mites. We fogged the hive about 5 times over a 2-3 week period. Yesterday when I did my first inspection since this process began I found that the bees were all but gone. If there were more than 50 bees I would be surprised. Also yellow jackets had moved into the hive and were making a mess of things. In hind sight I will do 3 things differently next year. First, I will inspect more frequently and more completely. Second, I will take preventative measures against mites including the fogging technique. Third, I will be relying a little more on experts advice and seeking out more feedback.
  • August 20th, 2015: Did a full hive inspection today. Disappointed with the progress. The top Honey super is still empty and untouched. I suspect the main cause is that heat rises and the top of the hive where the super is located is very hot. I’ve heard of some beekeepers drilling a hole into the super to create a top side entrance/exit while at the same time venting the hive better. I spoke with my friend down the road who has two hives and he did an inspection as well and his supers are also empty. He tried leaving the top cover off the hive for a few hours to let it vent and after those few hours there was much more activity in the top super box. I did the same thing tonight and noticed the same results. I may repeat that process in the early evenings for a few days to try to let the hive vent a little more.

  • July 22nd, 2015: A lot to report on today. The sugar water has been empty for about a week. We decided not to refill it as at this point in the summer the hope is that they are self sustaining. We did a full inspection tonight and the first brood box, which is not the upper of the 2 boxes is full of honey. It was super heavy to lift. The newer and lower box was about 65% full. We are about to be out of town for 4 days so we decided to go ahead and add the honey super even though it may be a week or so ahead of schedule.
Left the equipment there for the bees to clean off the honey

Left the equipment there for the bees to clean off the honey

We inserted a few pennies in the back between the boxes to help vent the hive a little.

We inserted a few pennies in the back between the boxes to help vent the hive a little.

Here is the honey comb that we scraped off of the inside lid and top cover.

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Here is the honey we were able to get out of that honey comb:

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  • July 9th, 2015: Here are a few pictures from the camera from around 9 or 10pm after it gets dark. We have some gangster bees who like to hangout on the outside of the hive box and chat.

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  • July 7th, 2015: Replaced the extension cord for the camera. Back online.
  • July 5th, 2015: Replaced the sugar water.
  • July 1st, 2015: I hit the extension cord for the camera with the lawn mower… need to run a new cord so you all can keep watching my bees.

  • June 30th, 2015: Replaced sugar water… wondering how much longer I need to give them sugar water?
  • June 20th, 2015: Fully hive inspection. 8 of the 10 frames are totally filled out. The bees favor one side of the box as both of the empty frames are to one side. We added a new brood box below the original box. We also moved the sugar water to an entrance feeder (as you will see in the camera).

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  • June 12th, 2015: Refilled sugar water.
  • June 6th, 2015: Full hive inspection. Box is about 60% filled out.
  • June 3rd, 2015: Refilled the sugar water. The consumption of the sugar water has dropped significantly. Instead of having to refill ever 3-4 days I’m now only refilling every 8-10 days.

  • May 27th, 2015: Removed most of the entrance reducer. The activity is super high and they need more room to get in and out. I saw a lot of earwigs close to the entrance tonight when I went out in the dark. I also saw a lot of a different bug. Little and black… REALLY hoping they aren’t mites. I’m going to try to get a good picture soon and send it to some more experienced beekeepers for feedback.
  • May 25th, 2015: A lot more cold and rain. Checked sugar water and the jar was empty. Refilled it.
  • May 21st, 2015: In prep for going out of town we did a full inspection tonight. Sugar water was half gone so we refilled it. We also pulled out a frame or two to see how much they have done so far. They have filled out 3 frames completely on both sides. Two other frames are almost complete on one side. The 5 frames that the most exterior (away from the center of the box) are fairly untouched.

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  • May 18th, 2015: Checked on the sugar water jar and it was bone dry again. The population of bees is growing we think and so we will have to check with greater frequency. The weather continues to be cold and rainy off and on but we do see a lot of activity during the day and we love seeing bees come back to the hive with large chunks of orange and yellow on their back legs!

Feeder Box With Sugar Water

  • May 16th, 2015: Did some new testing today with a spare power supply and the camera came on! So, replaced the camera with a new power supply and we are back in business.

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  • May 14th, 2015: We checked on the sugar water jar and it was empty. My wife is upset that we let it run all the way empty. Filled it up and replaced it. Also plugged the camera back in now that the power supply is fully dry. Camera didn’t power on so I’m guessing it was fried when the power supply got wet in the storm. Waiting for the new camera to come in the mail.
  • May 10th, 2015: After 3 days of torrential rain and snow the power supply for the camera is soaked and the camera isn’t working. We will get the camera up again as soon as either the power supply dries out (and hopefully still works) or a new camera comes in the mail.
  • May 8th, 2015: We filled the sugar water jar. They are drinking it well.
  • May 3rd, 2015: We changed the entrance reducer around to give the bees a little more space to get in and out. We also filled/replaced the sugar water jar that is in the top brood box. The bees appear to be active across all the frames of the box.

  • April 30th, 2015: My wife informs me the queen has been named Maya.
  • April 27th, 2015: Weather has been cold and rainy. Bees are staying inside and we don’t think they are taking advantage of the pollen patty or the sugar water. We moved the sugar water into an empty brood box to try to keep it a little warmer vs the the entrance feeder. We install the camera.
  • April 26th, 2015: Weather is cold and raining. Checked to see if the queen was loose. The little box she came in is empty so we assume she is in there somewhere.
  • April 25th, 2015: Installed our bee package. Beautiful weather today. Bees are very active.

The day we got the bees:

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4 Responses to Live Beehive Video Camera

  1. Brigette Scherrer May 8, 2015 at 3:26 pm #

    My Daughters loved it when you named the Queen Bee Maya! So, In honor of Maya, here’s the first Paulsen Beehive Joke:

    WHAT IS THE FAVORITE FAIRYTALE IN THE HIVE?

    BEAUTY AND THE BEES!

  2. Brigette Scherrer May 13, 2015 at 11:34 am #

    Bee Joke of the week..

    What goes zzub, zzub ? A Bee Flying Backwards!

  3. Jacob S Paulsen May 27, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

    Most common question I get is “How many times have you been stung?”

    Answer: Zero

    Nobody in the family has been stung so far. Honey bees are generally not aggressive and ours seem particularly nice and fond of their home 🙂

  4. Steve G. July 1, 2015 at 7:32 pm #

    Bee Joke of the Month!

    A blonde walks into the Jacob’s backyard and ask, “How do you keep the bees inside the fence.”

    (Referring to the red picket fence.)

    Answer: You tell them to bee have…

    That is a real bee slapper if there ever buzz one.

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