Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hive Inspection 5/24/11

Heléna & Nuc #5

Heléna is coming along nicely.  She is drawing out 9 of the 10 frames.  the comb is straight and in good form.  They are storing plenty of nectar/syrup.  Though she's still very slow to take the syrup; a gallon will last over a week.  She is laying as much as she can in the limited space.  Plenty of eggs, larva, & pupae already.

Frame #2 -

Frame #3 -

Frame #4 -

Frame #5 -

Frame #6 -

Frame #7 -

Frame #8 -

Frame #9 -

Frame #10 -

I started to use foundationless/Natural comb this year.  At first i used small bits of foundation as a comb guide.  Now i nail the wedge in sideways.  The comb here is off side because the queen cage was on that side (oops!).  The bees definitely favor the South side of the hive though.  That's the side all the big comb is on.  Frame #1 is on the North side where they're slowly getting too.

Queen Heléna
The Queen looked good.  She didn't get marked though.  After the last debacle marking the Queen in Nuc #3 i won't do it if there isn't enough eggs to make an emergency queen.  This colony has fresh eggs but not enough.  She'll be marked sometime around when the second Deep is near drawn out.

- - -   - - -   - - -

Nuc #5
Nuc #5 is a real joy.  The bees are dark and may be feral.  They seem good about drawing comb and filling it.  They've been in the nuc for a week and are working every frame including the plasticell.  The queen has laid eggs in every available cell.  They have been feed 3 quarts of syrup so far.  The best part is that they couldn't care less about me.  They're very passive and don't mind me when i poke around their frames.

Frame #1

Frame #2

Frame #3

Frame #4

Frame #5

It looks great for a weeks worth of comb.  It was a surprise to see how well they did on the Plasticell.  I had given up on that stuff and gotten rid of most of it.  I would've kept it if I knew these bees were OK with it. 

Nothing capped yet but that wont take long.  I'll keep feeding them since they're taking it so well.  They never had syrup delivered to them while in their tree and probably think they're in Heaven.  Hope they don't get to dependent on it.

Nuc #3 Queen
The queen is a big girl.  She too won't be marked until they have a majority of drawn & filled frames.  Technically she should be marked with blue since she is likely from last year.  I'll need to find the blue pen again.

The plan is to go treatmentless with these bees.  I know they've survived at least one Winter in a tree without any help; maybe years.  If they do well I'll start using them to requeen the others.

* ____________________________________________________________*

No comments: