May 21 2016

Purple hive, renegade queen, crazy good workers

all three hives after adding a box to each. Starting at the left, orange, yellow/FlowHive, and purple

all three hives after adding a box to each. Starting at the left, orange, yellow/FlowHive, and purple

So Friday I decided I needed to inspect the purple hive before the weather turns bad. We’re supposed to get rain and storms and quite a bit of wind.

At 10am it was 59 degrees and a little overcast, which turns out to be the most comfortable conditions to inspect a hive. No sweat, perfect temperature, no sun beating down – I could have inspected 5 hives.

 

Purple Hive, Queen Lilla

So I’m real sure that the queen I bought and installed in this hive is long gone. I inspected and could not find a queen with a white dot on her back (pretty hard to miss that). I found 3 more cut open queen cells, one of them ooozing out white larvae goo. So it had been torn open and the queen inside killed.

you can see fresh laid eggs, tiny c larvae, and big larvae

you can see fresh laid eggs, tiny c larvae, and big larvae

Last inspection, there was just no evidence of new laying. This time, it was crazy. Brood everywhere, laid literally end to end on the frames, with a really good pattern, a few holes missing here and there that shows that perhaps she’s hygienic. So instead of showing the traits of the new queen, they produced a queen from the Queen Freyja, my wonder woman of a bee.

They were so busting out all over in this hive, I had to put on another box for expansion. I managed the hive down, with all the brood in the bottom two boxes and then a box with empty frames and then they had an entire box chock full of capped honey.

So I started with 3  boxes and ended with 4.  If this flow keeps up, by next week, I could pull 3 boxes of honey off and harvest the FlowHive.

perfectly laid frame, end to end capped, with several holes where the girls pulled out unapproved brood

perfectly laid frame, end to end capped, with several holes where the girls pulled out unapproved brood

Synopsis:

I saw no queen, but I saw lots and lots of fresh eggs.

There were 9 full frames of brood, 12 frames of bees, 8 full frames of food and 3 frames packed with pollen.

 

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May 18 2016

Yellow & Orange FlowHive inspection – yowzah

At 10:30am it was 72 degrees and I went out to inspect either 1 or 2 hives, however many I could get through before I got too tired.

Note to self: you always underestimate just how very hot it can get inside that suit. Next time, start the inspection at 8:30am. I once again was faced with not being able to see the hive because I had pools of sweat in my glasses; dripping fat drops of sweat down into the hive, which the girls clearly do not like.

I wanted to be ready for anything and not have to make multiple trips, so I took out two boxes with 8 frames, a combination of bare frames and drawn empty frames; 2 sorting boxes; and I trimmed a couple branches from the quaking aspen tree that was hanging over the path to get to the beehives because it kept slapping me in the face every time I walked by.

I cut up 4 good pieces of burlap for the smoker, and started her up. Kinda. Sorta. The fire starter was on it’s last gasp and could barely get out a little puff of flame. So I ended up after all having to go inside the house and get out another fire starter and then back out to the beeyard. Best laid plans yadda yadda yadda.

Frame in the orange hive with both capped brood, uncapped brood and nectar off to the left

Frame in the orange hive with both capped brood, uncapped brood and nectar off to the left

Orange Hive

This hive started with 3 boxes and ended with four boxes. The bees have apparently finally figured out how to forage because they were bringing in good food. They were running out of room between the brood and food, so I added a box to this hive for expansion.

Synopsis:

I found Queen Frodig. Here’s a video of Queen Frodig with her big white dot. She’s a great looking Carniolan queen, with a very dark brown body.

There were fresh eggs. 12 very full frames of brood, most capped, some uncapped in all stages. there were 6 full frames of nectar and 1 fat frame of pollen. There were 10 frames of bees.

Here you can see big fat white larvae, smaller C larvae, teeny weeny c larvae and a few fresh eggs laid today

Here you can see big fat white larvae, smaller C larvae, teeny weeny c larvae and a few fresh eggs laid today

I managed the brood down to the bottom two boxes and checker boarded in 5 bare frames so there was room for expansion.

The 3rd box is 8 empty or bare frames and the top box was 6 frames of food and 2 bare frames.

So Frodig’s girls finally pulled it off and are foraging and Frodig is laying up very healthily.

Yellow Hive

This hive started with 3 boxes and the FlowHive box and ended up with 4 boxes and the FlowHive box. This is the hive out of winter with Queen Freyja, that I split. I could literally have split them again today and done no harm to this hive.

This is in the orange hive, and is a good frame with nectar on top and pollen on the bottom. If you look careful on the middle left and top right you can see two bees with their "tongues" that are deep reddish brown stuck into the cells delivery nectar

This is in the orange hive, and is a good frame with nectar on top and pollen on the bottom. If you look careful on the middle left and top right you can see two bees with their “tongues” that are deep reddish brown stuck into the cells delivery nectar

They are completely jammed and the Queen was basically plugged out (meaning there was virtually no where else for her to lay. They had all sorts of open/empty queen cups and some open/empty queen cells, most started along the bottom third of the frames.  Uh oh.  So I’m thinking they’d like to swarm because they feel cramped.

The problem is that they refused to touch the FlowHive frames for weeks. So instead they literally packed an entire box just stuffed full of nectar which is now nearly all capped off honey. That gave them only 2 western boxes to expand babies into. They only started finally putting nectar in the FlowHive once they literally had no cell left in the bottom hive to put nectar into.

here's a frame in the yellow hive that is wall to wall capped brood, some drone brood and 2 queen cups along the bottom

here’s a frame in the yellow hive that is wall to wall capped brood, some drone brood and 2 queen cups along the bottom

Synopsis:

I did not see Queen Freyja. I did see plenty of fresh eggs. There were 12 frames wall to wall brood, 16 frames of bees, 6 frames of honey and 3 frames of pollen.

I put on another box of bare frames, moved the brood down and checkerboarded the 8 bare frames in among the bottom two boxes for expansion.

FlowHive issues discovered

So I pulled each of the 6 frames of the FlowHive.  Here are some observations. Each time I inspect this FH box, I have to meddle with the expansion/contraction screws on the ends of the frames because they slightly warp and expand in the sun. So I have to take the screwdriver and turn the screw heads on the end of each frame to get it to fit more loosely in the box. They are so tight, I have to kind of cram and force them out of the box. So I’m tamping down the screws.

The bees have literally packed all 6 frames out to the brims with nectar and all the frames were just starting to get wax capped along the top. This makes for some really….really heavy frames.

This is one of the flowhive frames. It is full of nectar and just starting to get capped along the top

This is one of the flowhive frames. It is full of nectar and just starting to get capped along the top

Because there is a queen excluder, when you remove the FH box, you have to make sure that the queen excluder isn’t stuck to the bottom of the FH box, but instead stays on the top of the hive.  Because Queens like to move up (or chimney) in the hive, you will very often find them clinging to the bottom side of the queen excluder. If you moved the box with the queen excluder stuck to the bottom of the box, you would be moving the queen, unprotected, and she or the whole excluder could fall off the hive. Bye bye queen.  So you have to carefully unstick the excluder all the way around the perimeter and carefully lift the box.  Then carefully pick up the excluder and check all over to see if the queen is on the bottom before setting it aside.

Of course, since the FH box is on the top of the hive (has to be because of the queen excluder), you have to move the FH box off the hive before you can inspect the hive.

The FH box is very. Very. Very. Heavy.  My estimation was about 85 pounds. It nearly did me in. The FH box is already heavy to start because the frames are such thick plastic. Then add the fact they are totally stuffed with nectar, and are deep frames and are extra thick.

The harder part was getting the FH box back up on top of the hive, for two reasons:

  • I had to add a 4th box to the hive so now I had to lift it up higher
  • You have to lay the queen excluder on top of the top box and then you can NOT “scoot” the FH box onto the top box of the hive like you would normally do. If you did, the excluder would simply slide off the hive. You have to actually lift the FH box and lower it down exactly placed on the excluder.

It actually took me two tries to get the thing up there and on the queen excluder.

I had to have a sit down afterwards and really think this through.  I can’t be lifting 85 pounds or more every time I inspect the hive. How could I avoid this? IF you drain the FH box before you inspect, the FH box would be lighter. But you can’t time the bees capping off the honey just exactly at the same time you have to inspect the hive.

Because I use 8 frame westerns (instead of 8 frame deeps), I have to inspect the bees about every 10-14 days and you always have to manage the hive down. The queen has a much larger tendency to chimney in the 8 frame westerns and if you wait 3 weeks, she’ll be all laid up in the top box, with the bottom boxes empty, and ready to swarm or will swarm.  This has been brought up by those in the beekeepers association. It’s just something you have to deal with (more frequent inspections and managing down) if you  8 frame westerns.

If I moved to using 8 frame deeps, I could go a month between inspections.  But I don’t use 8 frame deeps because they’re too heavy. I want this to be enjoyable and to be able to do this for a lot of years. I can’t do that with boxes that weigh 60-80 pounds.  My 8 frame westerns at their heaviest full of honey weigh about 45 pounds.

That means that every 10-14 days, I’ll have to move this ridiculously heavy FlowHive box off the hive and back on the hive. I’m not entirely sure that’s the way I want to go.

It makes me want to email those Aussie’s and ask them if the cute little wife of his has every actually had to inspect a hive with the FlowHive on top, or if it’s just been the guys doing the heavy lifting.

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May 07 2016

Quickie inspection

So I did a really quick inspection of the three hives today, just 30 minutes for all three. It was already 66 degrees at 9am and the sun was on the hives so I got out there before it got too blazing hot.

I took out two boxes with some bare and some wet frames and the last of the honey stores from the winter in case any of the hives needed to have another box put on top.

Queen Lilla

In this split hive, she still has 3 boxes on her hive. there were 9 frames chock full of nectar or capped honey.

There were 6 entirely empty, cleaned out frames. These have to be the capped frames from last time that were hatched out.  There were a lot of bees in the hive.

However, I not only didn’t see the queen, but there was 1 frame with capped brood and 3 frames that just had, in the middle of the frame, open brood that was small, or tiny (3-4 days old), but no fresh eggs at all. 

There were also all those remnants of about 5 queen cells chewed or broken open.

So somebody was laying in the last 3 days, but not recently, and certainly not building up very fast at all.  I’m still wondering if those opened queen cells represent a queen the girls built while waiting for the new bought queen to get her mojo going. If the bought queen was still in there, I think she’d be really laying up. This small amount of new brood is kind of indicative of a roll your own queen.

I don’t really care who survived – the bought queen or a new queen. Either way, there’s a Queen Lilla in the hive and I’ll keep an eye out to see if she starts to lay up better within the next two weeks.

Queen Frodig

This hive is weird, too. It’s the package hive.

Queen Frodig is laying up like crazy. There were 5 fully capped frames of brood, and 5 frames with fresh eggs, and open brood from tiny to larger in a great laying pattern.

I did not see the queen.

However, there was absolutely not a single frame of nectar or honey in the hive. It’s like they don’t know how to forage. I had a feeder on here for awhile to get them started. There’s nectar out there because the other bees are bringing it in. So what’s up with these girls?

I replaced 4 empty frames with 3 1/2 frames full of honey from the last of the winter honey stores.  So hopefully this will get them going and sustain them until they figure out how to forage. If they can’t figure it out, I can feed them, but that means something is wrong with them. Maybe they just need to have these 5 frames hatch out and they’ll get going.

Queen Freyja

I just opened the top and looked at the center 4 frames of the FlowHive.

They are bringing in honey, filling the center of both sides of just these 4 frames. So they are starting to make honey in the FlowHive. Nothing is capped yet, but the nectar is up to the rims, although nothing on the outside thirds of the frames or the outer frames.

 

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May 04 2016

Just pictures of the girls

Hundreds of chives are in bloom and the girls are loving them

Hundreds of chives are in bloom and the girls are loving them

the first irises just opened today and here's a girl relaxing on one

the first irises just opened today and here’s a girl relaxing on one

Sweet little wild bumblebee making a raspberry for me in my raspberry patch

Sweet little wild bumblebee making a raspberry for me in my raspberry patch

A tiny pear starting that one of my girls made for me

A tiny pear starting that one of my girls made for me

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May 02 2016

Bee poetry

There’s a rich tradition of poetry from ancient times to modern about bees. Here’s a modern poem that makes you really feel the bees.

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 8.48.17 PM

The Hive

The colony grew in my body all that summer.
The gaps between my bones filled
with honeycomb and my chest
vibrated and hummed. I knew
the brood was healthy, because
the pheromones sang through the hive
and the queen laid a good
two thousand eggs a day.
I smelled of bee bread and royal jelly,
my nails shone with propolis.
I spent my days freeing bees from my hair,
and planting clover and bee sage and
woundwort and teasel and borage.
I was a queendom unto myself.

By Jo Shapcott

 

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Apr 30 2016

orange hive inspection – Welcome Queen Frodig

At 12:30pm today it was 59 degrees and overcast, but the bees were out so I decided to go out and inspect the last of the three hive, the orange hive.

Dogwood tree in blossom

Dogwood tree in blossom

The orange hive is the hive with the brand new package and queen and they started on bare frames (scraped last year). They have 3 boxes and a front feeder, which still has a 1/2 a quart of 1:1 syrup in the jar.

Orange Hive Inspection

I took out a sorting box, a box of extra frames, some wet and one that had honey from the winter honey bank. I first went around and weeded the area around the beehives. Despite the cement pavers, all sorts of tall weeds have sprung up in the cracks making a little jungle out there.

I smoked the front door and under the lid, then popped the lid and the cover.

In the very top box were mostly bare frames, although there were 3 that had been half drawn out and had – – fresh eggs.  And all three had every cell that was created filled with fresh eggs.

In the rest of the boxes I found a total of 4 frames pretty stuffed with fresh eggs, 3 frames with open brood and some capped brood, everything from tiny little c’s to fat larvae.  There were 9 full frames of bees.

There were 3 frames full of nectar (two new nectar and one from last year’s honey bank) and 1 frame stuffed with pollen.

There were a good 9 frames still bare. So I managed the hive down and put all the brood in the bottom box with food, the next box is bare frames for expansion and the top box has food. I added 2 wet frames and a frame full of honey from the honey bank and took out 3 bare frames so they have more food.

I did not see the queen, but because she has capped brood, 4 frames with eggs and lots of tiny brood, she must have hit the ground running (or laying) as soon as I let her out of her cage.

Look close. These are brand new drawn out cells, with tiny little white eggs standing up on their ends in the bottom of each cell

Look close. These are brand new drawn out cells, with tiny little white eggs standing up on their ends in the bottom of each cell

It was a pretty quick inspection with only the three boxes and I wanted to keep her undisturbed as much as possible.

The new queen has proved to be quite fertile, so she is now Queen Frodig.  Welcome to the world, Frodig, and may you reign long.

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Apr 28 2016

Purple Hive Inspection – welcome Queen Lilla

frame with some capped brood and 3 queen cells

frame with some capped brood and 3 queen cells

So at about 4pm it was 62 degrees out, overcast and calm, and the bees were out so I went out to inspect the purple hive, which is the one that I split from the yellow hive.

Purple Hive Inspection

This hive was split from the  yellow hive, and had several frames of brood and bees brought over. It started and ended with 3 8-frame Western boxes.

I took out a sorting box, a box of wet frames in case they needed expansion (which they didn’t), and got my smoker going.

Synopsis:

There were just a smattering of fresh eggs on the middle of two frames – I almost missed them there are so few

There was a good 8 frames of bees

Still some uncapped brood left

10 frames of food and pollen. They still have a half a quart of syrup left and I’ll just leave it on the hive to let them finish that off, but they’re bringing in enough of their own food

I managed all the frames with eggs and any brood down to the bottom box along with the queen and put her on the frame in the middle of the bottom box.

The next box has mainly frames that are being drawn out with some food and the top box is all food.

Solomon's seal in the front yard

Solomon’s seal in the front yard

Interesting details

So I found about 7 queen cups along the bottom of a few bars, and I found 5 honest to goodness queen cells, the size of peanuts. 3 were shredded with only about half the queen cell left. 1 was uncapped, where someone external sawed off the bottom of the cell like a trap door (nothing inside). 1 was still intact and capped. And 1 had been sawn through the bottom to make a trap door but the door was still there. I undid the door and looked inside and nothing was left in there.

Euphorbia in the front yard

Euphorbia in the front yard

Hmmmmmm.  I’m thinking that when I brought over the frames of closed brood for the split, there were probably a few fresh eggs on those frames. I put a queen in the very  next day and released her the day after, which was quick. But I think they still made a few “backup” queens in case this one didn’t work out.  Then clearly, someone, probably the queen, went around and opened and killed any queens still in their cells.

In the outside frame of the 2nd box I found the queen.  She is unmarked but I honestly don’t remember if she started out marked. She is definitely a carniolan and was walking calmly around, even backed her little butt into a cell as if to lay. She had attendants and has laid a smattering of fresh eggs, so she gets a name.

She is Queen Lilla – which means Purple Queen.  Here’s a Video of Queen Lilla on the hive.

There were bees on the top bar of the frame with Queen Lilla and they have their little butts up in the air fanning the air. They use their nasonov glands to fan a scent into the air of the queen and of the hive to draw their bees into the hive. Here they are fanning the scent into the air in this video. 

sweet woodruff under the trees

sweet woodruff under the trees

There is just so much in bloom right now in my yard and in the neighbors yards. I have blossoming cherry, lilacs, tulips, solomon’s seal, sweet woodruff, vinca, euphorbia, dandilions, strawberries, chives and blueberries. No wonder the girls are so happy.

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Apr 27 2016

Inspecting yellow hive and FlowHive, a little feeding

So today about 11:30am it was 61 degrees and sunny and I had on my calendar to inspect the yellow hive – Queen Freyja’s hive.

I had also been watching the quart feeders on the new hive and the split hive. The girls had left the food alone for quite some time, and then suddenly a couple days ago started drinking it down. I’m thinking they’re building up comb, hatching out the split babies in the split hive, and both queens are laying up.

We’ll see when I inspect them later this week.  But meanwhile I made up two quarts of 1:1 sugar syrup to take out and replenish the quart jars.

I took out a box with bare or empty “wet” frames from last year in case the yellow hive needed more boxes. Got my smoker going (always a joy to keep it going). So here’s how it went.

Yellow Hive

This hive started with 3 western boxes and then the FlowHive on top, which is an 8 frame deep.

FlowHive

I popped the top on the FlowHive (and immediately one of the wood pieces dropped off on the ground – one of the few little tweaks that they need to fix). There were bees up in the FlowHive but it wasn’t covered in bees.

It’s a little difficult to pop out the FlowHive frames because they’re tight, but not impossible. They have special little wire string handles you can pull up. There were 7 frames entirely bare. The frame right in the middle had bees and a circle in the middle of this frame, on both sides, about the size of an apple, that was being filled with nectar.

This is a flow hive frame through the viewing window. You can see how deep the pre-formed plastic cells are and a few bees on this frame

This is a flow hive frame through the viewing window. You can see how deep the pre-formed plastic cells are and a few bees on this frame

I’m sure these guys know what they’re doing – they put in 10 years on this project. But it struck me that this is supposed to be a more “natural” way of beekeeping, and yet there could be nothing more unnatural about the FlowHive frames.  Some people think that the regular frames I use are a little unnatural because they have a flat wax foundation in the frame, coated with beeswax for the girls to start on. And some beekeepers swear that bees don’t like to build out or start on plastic bases. I’ve seen them build out on one of these frames a combination of cells sized for babies, drone cells (much bigger and deeper), and queen cells and queen cups.

These FlowHive frames are completely plastic and already built not only out by 3/4 of the entire cell but all built the same size. So the bees have no flexibility at all and have to stuff an already built, plastic cell with nectar and then cap it. I’m not saying that’s bad – I’m just saying it’s anything but “natural”.

I put the FlowHive box to the side and started the regular inspection.

Rest of the yellow hive

There was a queen excluder on top of the 3rd box and they were really trying to jam that thing up with beeswax. So I scraped as much off as I could.

The queen was right up in the top/3rd box on a frame stuffed with pollen trying to find a place to lay – go Queen Freyja!

Here's Queen Freyja with her blue dot. You can see the frame she is on is just packed with bee bread (pollen)

Here’s Queen Freyja with her blue dot. You can see the frame she is on is just packed with bee bread (pollen)

I moved her carefully to a sorting box that would have all brood, hopefully all open brood.

As I moved down through the 3 boxes I found and sorted:

  • Plenty of fresh eggs
  • 10 frames of brood, both open and capped, although at least 6 of the frames were capped
  • Plenty of frames of bees
  • 2 frames very heavy with nectar and 2 frames that must have weighed in at 10 pounds of capped honey – they had built out the sides and up and down and just stuffed them. That’s interesting since they have an entire FlowHive they could have been stuffing all this honey in.
  • 2 frames really packed edge to edge and both sides with pollen/bee bread.

I removed the entrance reducer screen I had thumbtacked on the hive.

here is a frame of capped brood. The outer ring around the capped brood had open, small brood and they had honey in the center

here is a frame of capped brood. The outer ring around the capped brood had open, small brood and they had honey in the center

I then managed the queen and brood down to the bottom box with 6 of the frames of brood, Queen Freyja and 2 frames of food.

The next box was the 4 other frames of brood, 2 frames of food and 2 empties for expansion

The top box was 4 frames of food and 4 empty frames for expansion.

Then the flow hive on top.

The girls were busy and calm, although by the time I got to the bottom box and nowhere else to go and they started boiling out of the box because there was no more room, a few of them flicked at my face net.

Feeding

I then went to each of the other boxes and pulled up the quart external feeder, which were dry, filled each back up with a quart of syrup and put them back on the hives.

 

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Apr 18 2016

Queens released

So very quickly today, about 11:30am when it was 65 degrees and sunny, I went out to manage my new queens.

I suited up and just got the smoker going. I looked at the new package hive first, the orange hive. I smoked and then took off the top 2 boxes. The bottom box had the queen cage. I could see here in there and it was covered in bees. They were not jawing her or acting aggressively, just like they were attending her.

So I decided to do a quick release. I pointed the end of the queen cage down and used a fondue fork to gently pull out the cork and made sure the cork opening was actually resting on the top bars with the opening between two bars. Then I pulled the cork out and let the queen just walk out into the hive. The bees immediately followed her.

So I popped the other 2 boxes on top and left them alone.

I then checked out the purple hive which is the split hive. I smoked and popped off the top boxes and then pulled out the cage in the bottom box. I had already put a marshmallow in place of the cork on Saturday. Sure enough, no marshmallow and an empty queen cage. So she’s out, too.

So I put the hive back together.  Now I’ll wait for a couple of weeks and just leave them alone (leave them alone, leave them alone, leave them alone…).

I’ll name the queens once I know they’re actually doing their job and laying eggs.

Feeding

Both the orange hive and the purple hive still have their quart jar of sugar syrup on the hive and I don’t think even a 1/2 inch has been removed. So clearly the bees are going for the honey frames already in the hive instead of the syrup. I’ll still leave the syrup on for the next week.

Then when I check the queens, I’ll see if the bees are making new honey or bringing in nectar.

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Apr 16 2016

Splitting and getting ready, placed FlowHive

orange hive getting ready for new package, with a walk up ramp to get into the hive

orange hive getting ready for new package, with a walk up ramp to get into the hive

So yesterday was busy. About 3pm it was 55 degrees and sunny. I took a bunch of boxes for sorting out to the bee deck, boxes with some wet frames and about 4 frames full of winter honey, some pieces of OSB board, rigid insulation and bricks, and a bunch of hive lids and my FlowHive. There.

Yellow Hive Inspection

I very quickly inspected the yellow hive as I definitively needed to find the queen – and there was Queen Freyja right up in the top of the hive laying fresh eggs. There a plenty of bees in this hive and plenty of open and closed brood and food, with about 4 frames stuffed full of pollen.

So from there I sorted out a box of nothing but open brood with Freyja. Then I sorted out a box and a half of capped brood and sorted out the food.

Then I started piecing the hive back together, along with the new purple split hive and the hive for the new package.

I was hoping I’d have enough food for all three hives, but I had enough for two hives.

So here’s the synopsis of what I ended up with.

Yellow Hive

The yellow hive now consists of 4 boxes.

The bottom box has Queen Freyja, 6 frames of open brood and two frames of food.

2nd box has 6 frames of capped brood and 2 frames of food.

3rd box has 5 frames of food, with 3 empty for expansion.

Then there is a queen excluder and on top of that is the FlowHive box.

Purple Hive

This is the new split hive and it now has 3 boxes

The bottom box has 6 frames of capped brood and 2 frames of food.

2nd box has 3 frames of capped brood, 3 frames of food and 2 empty frames.

Top box is all bare frames for expansion.

There is no queen – I left them without for a day so they get a little desperate for a queen.

Orange Hive

This will be the hive for the new package today. Right now, there is just one box of bare frames ready for the queen.

 

new configuration of all 3 hives

new configuration of all 3 hives

In this picture you can see the current configuration of the bee deck. The orange hive is way on the east side.

The yellow hive is where it was but it now has a board laying across the front to force the bees to go around to the outsides of the front porch both coming and going, and it has a long board on the west side to keep them from veering off to their new split.

The purple hive is the split, it is facing at a 90 degree angle towards the west, with it’s back to it’s original yellow hive. It also has a board on the south side to keep the bees from veering around to get to their original yellow hive. And it also has a board laying across the front porch.

So for either of the split hives (original and new split) they have to get around 3 barriers to get to each other.

 

Now I head up to get my bee package, a new queen, and my BB’s bee package and then installation starts.

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