Sunday, June 21, 2009

Inspection 6/21/09

84 F

By the looks of it Myrina has finally swarmed. I'M NOT UPSET. I never liked her. Great producer but the meanest queen in the world. I hope her daughter mated with a more civilized drone.

First things first. Still no
drawn comb in the honey suppers. The same as Mary. So I'll be lucky to get any honey this year as far as I can tell. It has rained multiple times a week since the start of the year. The bees just can't get out to do their work. I recently saw how another keeper was still feeding his girls to get them through. It makes sense. The more they are fed the less honey they eat & more brood they can keep. I regret not knowing this earlier. So now I'm feeding them 1:2 syrup. Even if we get dryer weather I'll continue for the brood. Especially since Myrina is at half occupancy.

A pleasant surprise was the amount of Propolis around the excluder. It's the most I've seen either hive ever make at once. I can't help but think is comes mostly from the Yellow Polar trees in the Yard. Huge mature canopies loaded down with their big flowers. But it could be from anything. I don't really know.

Once in the hive bodies I began removing the ubiquitous bur come. Only some on the tops of frames yet a great deal more on the bottoms. I did not have the time to remove all of it. I scraped half the frames today. I'll get the rest next week or so.

The brood patterns look bad. But then only half the colony is here. I can't see the smallest eggs because: 1 - My eyes are 43 years old, 2 - Reading glasses under a veil in summer do not work too well. I should get a hand lens for this purpose. However, I did manage to see fairly recent young brood. Just not much of them. In the image to the side you can see where capped honey cells have replaced brood cells. I'll need to see more to have a better idea of how the new queen is doing. The remaining bees are still as aggressive and GREATLY dislike smoke & attack anyone using a brush.

I did reposition some of the frames to help with the brood. I replaced one old frame that the girls seemed to ignore. I always put the new Plasticell frames in the middle. They draw it out faster than on a side. I intend to eventually replace all the old frames. Out of 20 there is 16 left to replace from before I acquired the hives from the old farmer. That's 9 in Myrina and 7 in Mary. Only the bottom brood hives have original frames.

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