Monday, April 20, 2009

Inspection 4/19/09

70 F

Well on Sunday I was able to get a look at Mary. First I saw the unmistakable sign of chalkbrood on the front porch. Second they had gummed up the hive frames with lots of burr comb. Third I found many unopened swarm cells. Fourth I found one opened swarm cell.

I pulled out every frame in the hive looking for chalkbrood. Fortunately there was very, very little. It centered in where the Winter bee ball would have been. I pluck out the ones I found (less than 10). The bees can take care of the rest. The wet Spring & cool temps are to blame. Soon it will be dry & hot.

The burr comb I scraped off of everywhere but the bottom board. The board will be replaced in May with a screened board.

It's Spring so the swarm cells are plenty. I found 8 of them mostly in the bottom brood chamber. they where removed.

(Can you see the opened cell to the right?)

Yes I'm sure the previous Swarm in the yard was from Mary as I found one opened swarm cell. I hope she's a good queen as she's in charge of Mary now. Mary's attitude had changed over the Winter as to make me think the re-queening exercise may have worked. Population was up. They stopped exhibiting that odd 'everyone out of the hive now' trait. Had I inspected a week ago I'd still have her. Bad weather, cold & rainy, delayed me.

The brood looked good in pattern & amount. Their stores lasted them through the Winter with surplus. I made great use of the entrance feeders. There seems to bee plenty of bees left in the colony to do there job. Job 1, of course, is make more bees.

I replaced 3 frames in Mary's bottom chamber. They are very old and falling apart. I intend to replace the remaining 7 frames in that box later this year. Then all will be new, plus she gets a new box for that chamber too (back ordered).

All medication is complete. All I did this year was Apistan & Fumidil. I hope that's enough.

I plan to put 2 Honey suppers on each hive this year. That should net me 120 lbs of honey, or so. I also want to make a third hive from one of these swarm cells. I pulled 2 honey filled deep frams from Myrina to put in the Nuc. I'll add the frame with the last swarm cell (and bees) and hope for the best. If it works i'll kick myself for not getting 2 Nucs. I did, however, put the excluder plus 1 honey super on each hive. I get to inspecting Myrina on the next warm day.

Speaking of Myrina I opened her up briefly. Then the drizzle shut me down. All I had time to notice was that the last pollen patty I put in her last Fall was still there. That got thrown away. With all the honey that was left in these hives, from what was a sturdy Winter, I don't think pattys are necessary.

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