Monday, April 2, 2012

Hive Inspection 4/2/12

All Hives (six)
65°F
Sunny
Calm

Didn't mean to do them all but that's the way it goes sometimes.  It has been almost a month during an early Spring since we last looked in the bees.  Not a good idea but we have been terribly busy around here; did i mention we have chickens now?

Melissa has six brood frames in the top box and four in the bottom box.  Good brood pattern and a high population.  The bees are calm.  Saw Wax Moth larva in the detritus below the screened bottom board; that's a new one.  The moth larva posed NO danger to the hive and were fed to the chickens.  The bees finished off the last gallon of syrup.  The feeder was removed and a partially filled Honey Super from last season was added.  In a day or so an undrawn Super will be added as well.  Did not see the Queen but plenty of fresh eggs.

Nuc #6 (Gumption) also had a Moth larva under the Screened Bottom Board.  That too was cleaned out.  Her bees have not yet begun to draw out the new Medium brood box.  They have, however, finished their syrup.  The population is good but her productivity is low.  There is a Supersedure cell being drawn out on frame #5.  I left it in.  The bees know best.  It wasn't planned but her still empty new brood box was hastily donated to Nuc # 5.  I'll make her two new ones this week.

Nuc #5 (Mab) is on fire when it come to making bees.  The three week old New brood box was fully drawn & filled with capped brood, drone cells, pollen, & honey.  The best looking Spring frames i've ever seen.

All five new frames, front & back
The population is still heavy now that they have used up the new box.  As previously mentioned i borrowed the empty box from Nuc #6 to give this one room.  However, it is to late!

OOPS! First Swarm Cell of 2012.  Three weeks in a new undrawn box
The Queen cell was cut out and placed in Myrina who needs to be requeened anyway.  Many believe that once the Swarm cell is capped the bees will swarm no matter what.  I've done this before without the bees swarming so i hope to do it again. As soon as these bees fill up the new box they will be hived in a regular medium two box hive.  The feeder is still on and they'll get some more syrup.  So i'm guessing two more weeks.

Heléna has twelve of twenty frames filled with brood.  Her population is high and getting higher fast.  The Queen was in the bottom box as the top box was full.  So her feeder is gone replaced by a drawn honey super.  More Wax moth under the Bottom board but they were handled.  The brood frames are picture perfect.  Sadly it was late and too dark to get the image.

Mary is a surprise in non-productivity with only four of twenty frames having brood.  Her population is only fair with very little Drone comb.  The top box is practically honey bound.  So i will spin several frames to give them room to grow.  If she doesn't take to it she'll be requeened.  Her feeder came off too, but she hadn't finished the syrup in it anyway.

Myrina has only taken half of her syrup.  The population is fair with only three of ten frames in brood.  A Wax moth was found in the hive on a frame; one worm which was dispatched.  This colony is Very weak.  She began the downward spiral last Summer.  Then entered Winter diminished.  She got through Winter but she's going nowhere fast.  To remedy that the Swarm Cell from Nuc #5 was placed in this hive (frame 5) After i pinched Queen Myrina.  I'll check the hive again in a few days.  The Queen Cell was capped and due to hatch soon.

Note the Spotty brood of the previous Queen
This weekend i'll make a few more brood boxes and sufficient frames.  I'll put more undrawn Honey Supers on Malissa & Heléna too.

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3 comments:

immwia said...

Very busy indeed, at least the chickens are getting some extra protein from the bees. :-)

Christopher Beeson said...

In your first picture, is the entire left side of that frame all drone brood?

Show Me The Honey Blog

Hemlock said...

immwia,
Hey you. Don't tell the Wife but i wanted to designed the chicken coop to have a bee hive in it's top half. Ran out of time though...


Christopher,
Yes it is and so is the matching section of the other side. the three middle frames all looked like this. The end frames had more honey & pollen. That particular box is a five frame medium. These drones will be supplying the area with very productive traits.