Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hive Inspection 9/7/11

Mostly Cloudy

It's the first time I've been in Heléna since the Combinations.  Her population is Very High.  There are bees everywhere.  I can't even see the frames through the bees.  The population going into winter is supposed to be as high as one can get it but i wonder if there are too many.  A swarm this late would leave too few bees in the hive.  Plus the swarm itself would never make it.

Both Heléna & Melissa have high populations from the combining.  Neither colony had drawn out a second Deep box.  The supplemental bees from the nucs only added ten frames into each big hive.  Which just equals another Deep box.  The two big hives should then only be the size of regularly seasoned hives.  However these two colonies seem to have more bees than anticipated.

Bottom box loaded with bees
On Melissa I added a undrawn Honey Super to give the bees a little more room.  She has now drawn out two frames and filled them.  She continues to draw more frames too.  I've been feeding them so the stores on these frames are the Adulterated stuff.  Which works great for me.  I'll take off the super when they go into Winter Cluster and feed it back to them come Spring.  Once the bees have emptied the frame they'll have more drawn Honey frames for next Summer.  So I'll put a Super on Heléna too since it seems to work.

We are in a Nectar dearth but pollen is plenty available.  The bees are sucking down the Syrup.  They'll take a gallon in a day.  When i looked into Heléna i saw no empty cells.  Either nectar or brood filled them all with a frame or two of pollen.  It concerns me that they may become honey bound inciting a swarm.  At some point the the queen begins to lay fewer eggs.  Those cells are then back filled with honey.

I did see nectar in brood areas.  Though, i don't know if the bees are back filling or they had nowhere else to store the syrup.  I plan to feed next week then hold off 'till October when I give them a Fumagilin treatment.  I'll be looking for a reduction of the brood nest.

Back to the inspection.

Top Box DHB2: frames
1 - Solid honey
2 - Solid honey
3 - Beautiful, solid capped brood
4 - Beautiful, solid uncapped brood
5 - Honey, Nectar, fresh brood
6 - Brood, honey, some back fill
7 - Brood, Drone cells, nectar, honey, back fill
8 - Brood, Drone cells, nectar, honey, back fill
9 - Back filling with Nectar & pollen
10 - Solid honey

Bottom Box DHB1: frames
1 - Not fully drawn nectar
2 - Mostly drawn honey
3 - Fully drawn nectar & honey
4 - Nectar & honey, some back filling
5 - Solid capped brood & Queen
6 - Solid capped brood & some honey
7 - Brood, Drone Cells, honey
8 - Pollen & honey, little brood
9 - Pollen, brood, little honey
10 - Solid pollen

Which gives them eleven frames of brood.  The colony looks to be doing well and is very strong.  Pests are at a minimum.  I did find a single SHB on the outside of the hive afterward.  It was dispatched.

We never used to see these here


1 comment:

Jones said...

I am sorry that you are seeing SHB. You keep strong hives, so I do not think they will be a problem for you.

I can tell you one thing for sure - if the SHB becomes prevalent in your area, feeding pollen patties in the Summer can be a real risk (the SHB lay eggs UNDER the stuff, where the bees can't get to it, and really go to town).