Jul 30 2015
Boy, I’m liking this new schedule of just doing one hive a week a LOT better than doing all three or even two at the same time. It’s so much more relaxed and I don’t get nearly as sweaty.
The high today was 96 so I got out in the hives at 9am when it was still 73 and by 9:45am when I finished it was up to 78. I went ahead and put on a wet d0-rag that that helped.
I took out two empty boxes for sorting.
I suited up, took out the boxes, took out a container for extra wax, and started my little smoker with pine chips and then stuffed in my burlap and got a good smoke going and “knocked” at the front door with a little puff of smoke.
This hive started with 6 boxes – two above the queen excluder and four below.
There were 17 frames of capped honey or nectar; 5 frames of pollen; plenty of bees (2 full boxes); 7 frames of brood, but 3 were capped, 2 were open and the other two just had about 1/4 of the frame with capped brood that was hatching out. I did not see Queen Håper. I saw a good bit of 3 day old brood, tiny bitty little “C”s laying in milky solution, and I saw 2 fresh eggs, although I didn’t move the bees off all the uncapped brood.
I was able to remove an entire box of 8 drawn and entirely cleaned and empty frames.
There was brood in the 4th box (just under the queen excluder).
I sorted all the open brood into one empty box and all the closed brood into another. Then I managed them down, putting the open and some closed brood in the bottom with pollen and honey on the outsides, then the rest of the brood in the 2nd box with an empty frame in the middle and food on the outsides, then the other 3 boxes of honey and nectar and a few empty frames above.
So this hive ended with 5 boxes and a removed queen excluder (see below).
So I’m a little concerned about the small amount of brood in this hive. There were a few fresh eggs, and there were some 3 day old larvae, but not a lot of brood at all. I didn’t see the queen. On the other hand, the bees haven’t even made a queen cup so they aren’t looking to replace her.
And they had 5 packed frames of pollen, which tells me they’re stocking up to feed babies. And they have the amount of honey they’d normally go into winter with, and at least half of that was new nectar.
So they’re still doing fine and I’m not worried about their numbers. It just seems odd they aren’t building up more. We are having another record breaking year of heat and drought (although they’re finding nectar). I just read that brood production usually peaks in June and takes a downturn in July and August, so this might be normal. It could be that after seeing the Italian hive, which is going like gangbusters, this just seems small.
I decided that this late in the season, with less bees and less brood in this hive, they’re probably not going to be making a lot of extra honey. They obviously ate through one box. So I removed the queen excluder and decided no matter what, I won’t pull any more honey this year from this hive. They can keep what they make. Therefore, I won’t care of the queen lays some up in the honey frames.
I guess I shouldn’t really be concerned. We’ll see how they do going into the fall.
It’s supposed to stay in the 90’s and high 90’s for the next week and there is no rain in the foreseeable future on the weather forecast. People are not watering their lawns but they are watering their flowers and veggies and trees. My bees are soooo much better off being in an urban environment than out in the fields reliant on crops that are done blooming or all dried up and nothing to irrigate.
Keep flying, little girls.