Monday, September 24, 2012

Hive Inspection 9/24/12


Mab is having the same SHB problem as the other hives.  This has been the worst year for them since we began beekeeping.  It seems that each week or so we buy more beetle traps.  Next time we'll get a whole case.  Three traps per box should do it.  Mab has three boxes and a Slatted rack so i'd like to give her twelve traps.  I guarantee they will all have a bunch of beetles in them.

Other than that Mab is doing great.  She is back filling her top box with honey and moving the brood nest down.  Her population is good.  She even has a few Drone cells and walking drones.  Plus she's very calm and responds well to smoke.

I didn't go through all her boxes since i found the Queen on frame four in the middle box.   She looked as good as always.  Well attended by her court.  Brood patterns get spotty in Fall.  Her's shows that but still has nice consistency.

The bees have also done a great job waxing the interior of the hive.  Most of the equipment is new but has a good coat of wax.  The other colonies have never been this quick about it.

I'll inspect her again in two weeks or so.  For now i'll start feeding them syrup. This is what i wish all the colonies looked like.

Heléna as usual is doing her own thing apart from reason.  As mentioned the SHB are bad but inspecting her was the first time i had SHB crawling up into my veil.  That was as soon as i opened the hive up.  A poor start to things.

Her population is Fair.  I'd like to see more bees and she has a strong reputation as a bee maker (as opposed to honey).  Yet, there weren't enough bees to fill the slated rack which is usually full of bees.  The majority of bees were in the top box.  I assume the Queen was up there but never found her.  Did see fresh eggs though.  Odd there are less bees in her.  We had some very poor weather this Summer.  It may have set everyone back. 

The brood pattern was normal for this time of year.  More & more cells being back filled with nectar.  Less & less cells being filled with brood.  Some what spotty.  Sadly it looks like she has no interest in lowering her brood nest into the bottom boxes.  A reversal will fix that in a month or two. The brood looked healthy though and had plenty of eggs.

The burr comb didn't help either.  The biggest piece was above the top box where the top entrance is.  Not a surprise as the shim is more than half an inch in height.  However, the first three frames were one with the frames below them.  Had to clean that up just to put the frame back in the box. 

The bees here were much more defensive than in Mab.  Head butting quickly gave way to a stinging assault as i moved into the bottom box.  I spent more time smoking stings than inspecting frames.  NOT how things are supposed to work BUT with Heléna there is ALWAYS a chance of swarm cells somewhere in the hive.  Have to check each time.

She be fed for a few weeks along with the others.  Hopefully i'll find the Queen next time.


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