It took longer than it should have but today i finally got into Duchess. She has seemed more productive than the other two all year. From her constant wax production to always having more bees flying at any given time. If this colony can get through Winter than I hope for much honey from her next year. She's more defensive than Myrina & Mary now that those two have been requeened. Not at first but after going through a box of frames she can take to head butting. She is in no way a problem fortunately.
OOPS! - She would have had her last gallon of treated syrup in her HTF today if I hadn't screwed up. I made it Friday night the 22nd. On Saturday I went to put it out but it had begun to crystallize already. So I place the pot back on the burner and set it for medium heat. I thought after ten or so minutes it would be back to all liquid and good to go. Sadly I became distracted. When I finally got back to it the syrup had been boiling for some time. What a waste. So I dumped the syrup out. I had to now that it was toxic. Four dollars worth of sugar and a teaspoon worth of Fumagilin-B. I'm still mad at me. What a dope! I do not have enough Fumagilin left to make even a single extra gallon of syrup. So Duchess will not get her second gallon. She's the only colony i have that's not had Nosema. If one of them is going to get only a half dose than it's best to be her.
Ask me how well it worked come March?
Anyway the HTF did have the crystallized remains of the first gallon. So, afterward, I added a quart of warm water to it. Thirty minutes after the inspection was over the girls were flying in the typical sugar shock frenzy that follows the addition of syrup.
Top Box Frames:
10. Full capped honey - 2010 CW
9. Full capped honey - 2010 CW
8. Full capped honey, back fill - 2010 CW
7. Full capped honey, back fill - 2010 CW
6. Full capped honey, back fill - 2010 CW
5. Full capped honey, some brood cells - 2010 CW
4. Full capped honey, some pollen - 2010 CW
3. Full capped honey - 2010 CW
2. Full capped honey - 2010 CW
1. Full capped honey - 2010 CW
Bottom Box Frames:
10. Drawn incomplete empty - 2010 Plasticell
9. Drawn incomplete empty - 2010 Plasticell
8. 1/4 pollen - 2010 Plasticell
7. Minor pollen, depleted - 2010 CW
6. 1/2 Brood - 2010 Plasticell
5. 1/2 Brood, some pollen - 2010 Plasticell
4. 1/2 Brood - 2010 Plasticell
3. 1/2 Brood, Queen Cup - 2010 Plasticell
2. 1/2 Brood, 1/4 pollen, 1/4 honey - 2010 Plasticell
1. Some honey, some pollen - 2010 Plasticell
I could not find the Queen. I also didn't see any eggs since I forgot to put my glasses on before I started. I did see some very young larva though.
Extra wax, wrong place
Lots of bur comb on the top of the frames in the bottom box. I scraped it all away including the propolis on the frame rests. All the extra wax and still some of the Plasticell frames were unfinished. They started out in the first box and yet, several of the outer frames were not drawn out completely. The more I see the more I don't like it. The Queen cup was well developed but nothing inside it.
Frame 10, Initial hive box
I pulled the SBB and cleaned beneath the hive as well. The same critters were under this hive as the others. Wasps & spiders. It's not a problem but after a whole season it builds up more than I had thought. The Mud Wasps kept to the hive stand. They were easy to remove. The spiders had webbed up under the hive like there would be no tomorrow.
Many egg cases
The worst part of that being the type of spider. Black Widows are docile creatures I have no problem with. Except for the fact they could severely harm my kids; and mess me up too. So she gets mashed every time i find her. I thought the wood pile was bad but I've found more by the bees.
I previously mentioned the portables hive stands. Nothing more than 4 pieces of wood screwed together. Yet, they're great for keeping the bottom of a box off the ground; no grass, leaves, or smashed bees. There never seems to be enough space on the regular stand so these are handy. First they were used to move the hives to the new spot; 2 feet at a time. Now they are a spot to put a top box while I'm in the lower box doing whatever. There will be more uses in the future i'm sure.
Portable stand & quiet box
Last, we hit the high 30's this last week for nightly lows. Frosts are coming. So today I closed the SBB's in Myrina & Duchess. Mary only has a solid BB. I used a piece of luan cut to fit beneath Myrina's hive and slide into the back of Duchess's SBB. Myrina's is a simple one I bought from Dadant. Nothing fancy like rear access mite check boards. So she had to bee lifted to put it on. Duchess has a homemade one that does have the mite check board. Her's slid into the back. This leaves the main entrance as the bottom vent for Winter. The vent boxes I use release the air up top.