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File:Drone-Comb-for-VM_web.jpg|Capped Drone comb for VM(Click to Enlarge)
File:Drone-Comb-for-VM_web.jpg|Capped Drone comb for VM(Click to Enlarge)
File:Nucs---Robbing-Screen-2-web.jpg|Note Entrance at Top
File:Nucs---Robbing-Screen-2-web.jpg|Note Entrance at Top
Revision as of 23:50, 29 April 2012
2012 April 29
Just when you think you are on top of things! Had a swarm today. Thought I was OK. Lucky, an easy catch. Haven't figured out which one swarmed yet. Pulled my first capped frame of drone brood today (medium frame). Removed the drone comb. Found some VM, but larva still young so have to remember would be 2 or 3 times as many when emerge.
2012 April 19
A ROYAL TREAT! This afternoon Yvonne and I stopped to watch one of our nucs. I was explaining how the robbing screen works when the queen landed on the screen and began walking around. It was her maiden flight, and we could see the white patch from a male's genital/abdomen. Then she walked up and down thru the opening. That was so cool! Happened too fast to get a picture. Most interesting was the fact that she was quite large, not small like most of my virgin queens.
2012 April 18
Drone Comb & Varroa Mites. Six days ago I put one med frame in this deep. They have completely drawn the bottom bar with drone comb. Once filled and capped I'll remove it, hopefully with most of the VM in this hive. I use jars above my hives to feed when necessary. On one of my nucs I tried a plastic boardman feeder. I had heavy robbing at this hive all morning yesterday. So I removed the boardman feeder and put robbing screens on my nucs. Today no problems (except when orienting.... got crowded due to small opening). Robbing screens have an opening at the top, away from the hive entrance. The hive bees figure it out but robbers can't.
2012 April 13
Bees everywhere! One of my over-wintered nucs is exploding. Heavy on the bees, all frames covered. 5 Fr nuc, put 2nd 5 Fr deep couple weeks ago. This nuc has 4 1/2 fr of CB and about 2 fr of L and E. That's incredible for a 10 fr hive. I put the QE on between the deeps to keep the Q in the lower box. Tomorrow I will split the hive, one full box each. There are eggs and larva in the upper deep and lots of bees to raise a new queen. This Q was a swarm cell from last summer. All of my swarm Qs from last year are doing fantastic this year.
We also hived a 6 day old Swarm on the ground for a friend. See pictures on Main Page.
2012 April 9
And So It Begins! Swarm season is early! Most hives are strong this year, most have 6-7 frames of brood. And it's so early! I inspected one hive today. They had packed the lower deep almost solid with CH, N, and P. The upper deep was almost as bad. It was HEAVY! It also had 6 sealed QC, swarm position. So early! I took 3 fr with some CB, all the nurse bees (and 2 queen cells), plus 1 fr CH and 1 fr P and started a nuc. I am warming a box of frames left from winter to see if I can spin them clean. I will then remove full frs and replace with drawn comb in this hive. Their mother did the same thing last year. I've had a super on for almost 2 weeks, but it is dry and the brood boxes are full.
2012 April 2
Yesterday I took a quick look inside my weak hive. Immediately saw more bees and several frames with CB. I saw the queen again (marked from last year). When I turned the frame over I spotted another queen! This was also brightly marked, like a new mark. They were happy as can be. I removed one queen and caged her. So today I had to take a quick look inside the hive I took the frame of brood from... found larva and the queen. This is very interesting. There was defitely only one Q two weeks ago. Unless the hive I took the brood from had two queens? I marked one but maybe missed the other and moved her? But that would mean they had co-existed since last fall?! And then why wouldn't two laying Qs fight it out? Really strange. But lots of fun.
2012 March 25
Growing Degree Days (GDD) - What's it worth? I've been looking to see how accurate this number is. Several trees have bloomed within one day of their GDD number. For example, Eastern Redbuds opened on Thursday. Their # is 191. The GDD hit 195 on Friday. Today Medina County sits at 202 GDD. For the past 4 years the avg on this date was 44. That means that barring a complete turn around, nature is 4-5 weeks ahead of normal. So what's it worth? Watch the Black Locust closely (467). Does this mean we may have to put our supers on 4 weeks earlier than "normal" (6 weeks earlier than last year!). That would mean early April?!
2012 March 22
Full inspection of all hives last two days. Most hives doing wonderfully. Lots of bees, several frames of CB, clearly weeks ahead of last year. Two nucs look fantastic (one has two full frames of CB). Added second five frame deep. POINT OF INTEREST - I put my nucs side by side and wrapped them as one for the winter. The brood frames in both nucs are on the COMMON side, CH on the other side. Pretty cool, it really does work.
One hive extremely weak. Two patches CB, but very few bees. Guess the Bee PMS Dewey spoke about. I added one frame with about 40% CB AND nurse bees from a strong hive to help out (and slow the other one down). I'll baby them and see if they can regroup.
GDD for Mar 22 is now at 159. I stopped noting what was flowering since everything seems to be in bloom.
2012 March 14
Growing Degree Days - At our last meeting Denise Ellsworth introduced us to GDD as a way to know when specific trees and plants will bloom. With the warm weather the GDD has JUMPED to 45! Based on the forecast we should be at about 130 on the first day of spring. Is this significant? Last year on March 23 the GDD was only 27! That means not a single major tree was in bloom yet. Silver Maple and Red Maple should already be in bloom this year and we are 10 days ahead of last year. Everything may be early for our bees, as well, so be prepared!
2012 March 13
Spring is Sprung
Spring is officially here. 67, sunny, first Red Wing Blackbird, Spring Peepers are singing, first mosquito, and our nesting Phoebes are back for the 8th year. The girls are going crazy! I removed the mouse guards today, one nuc had 25-30 bees with pollen piled on the entrance. Yesterday I checked their food. Several had not a trace of F or PP, so I put more on all. This morning quite a bit of wax paper bits in front of a couple hives. Assume they must need it if they go after it that fast?! I also noticed that the bees were not as much on the top bars, they were spread out more between the frames. I assume the warm weather is letting them go after more frames of food. This is going to be one interesting spring in the beeyards.
2012 February 25
The year without winter continues and the bees are liking it! Today is the 12th fly day this year for my beees. And this past week they have been hauling pollen almost every day. Even today. It's only 39, but sunny and some bees were bringing in pollen. This week I popped the covers and on 5 of my 7 hives the bees were on the top bars, from 30 to 60% coverage. There is still a lot of food in the hive but I decided to put fondant. I'm concerned that they are making babies early and if it gets cold they might not leave the brood to move to food frames. We sure needed a nice break after last year. I see buds on some of the trees, so early!
2012 February 6
This weather is terrific. Today was 44 and sunny. All the hives were out a little. They were bringing in pollen today, on Feb 6. Can you believe it? On one hive I counted 11 bees return with pollen in a couple minutes. The skunk cabbage is blooming, and has pollen, I checked. If they are feeding brood we'll really have to watch the food levels.
2012 February 2
54 degrees and sunny!!!! All the hives were out in force again today. If we watch the food stores they should come out of the gates gangbusters this year! We saw two BLOOMING dandelions today. And the skunk cabbage are already up, a few were even starting to unfold. I think that's about 3-4 weeks early. Hope the maples and willows don't get messed up. Sure is exciting to see the bees flying on Feb 2nd.
2012 January 17
I didn't think I'd be posting so early in this year, in the coldest month of winter. But today was 54, we've hardly had winter, and the bees have been active. Think this is the 5th day this month they've been able to get out a bit. That should be great for the bees. The experts at the club quickly remind us to watch the food stores closely since the warmer temps will mean more larvae and much more food consumed. Below are a couple pictures from Jan 7th. (Click on any picture to enlarge).
2011 December 15
This should be the last entry for 2011, and much later than I would have expected due to the nice fall. Today I did my final winter prep. When the temps turned cold I wrapped my hives, including two nucs. Today was 57 so once it cooled in the afternoon and the bees were all inside, I closed the entrances and moved the nucs to a common stand. Right next to each other. I then wrapped a second piece of roofing paper around the two for extra protection. At least they have one common side that should hold heat a little better. Finally, I built a large outer cover that fits over the two nucs on top of the insulation. Looks cozy...... here's hoping.
This 2nd year of beekeeping was fascinating. The first year we were constantly excited and amazed with all the "firsts". This year was truly an education. Makes me look forward to next year to see if I learned enough to improve my beekeeping, take it to the next level. Clearly I will take a different approach to swarming. And I will check early and often for Varroa. If they are fortunate enough to make it thru the winter and spring inspections I will sell a couple hives so I'll have room and resources to try some new things next year. And we have all winter to decide just what we want to try!
2011 October 22
Found a home for the queen (Ken lost one recently). For the other queen, due to the cold and rain I could not go into my hive to remove the cork and start her release. Finally removed it on Thursday. Today is 8 days so I removed the cage, carefully removed the candy, and put a small piece of marshmellow to hold her until I closed up the box.
On one hive I saw a drone trying so hard to get in but there were 6 or 7 bees stopping him. Not that's cold! Continuing to put insulation on hives and start wrapping. I don't think it's the cold temperatures, but it has to help to block the wind and keep the entire hive dry. A little scary this year due to several new queen introductions and no way to check them since so late. More risk this year! Tried some Megabee dry. Mixed it with 2:1 syrup to make a patty. The bees are all over it!
2011 October 17
Rearranged the combined hives today. Moved brood, EC, pollen and food to lower deep. Filled upper with food frames. Have 5 medium capped frames from the nuc super to use or store. By some miracle the robbers were not bad today. What a difference that makes! Decided to check hive 4 (requeening but thought I saw a few eggs last week). Sure enough, small patch of capped brood and a couple larva. Removed the new queen, have to find her a home.
2011 October 14
New Queens today. Recently lost three queens. One was a new swarm cell Q, not sure what happened. Lost both of my Carniolans from Dana, both were healthy hives. I used one (ONLY one) quick strip on my hives. In one hive, opened to remove the strip five days later and found 6 emergency QC. They were small and ugly, doubt they would have matured, and almost no chance for mating now. Bought two Qs from Olivarez. Installed today. Combined one muc with the other one. Sure hope it works OK, no dead bees yet, been 24 hrs.
Always something new to learn... how to check if all is well since 10 days from now (to let her out and get settled) it will be too cold for a thorough inspection?! One member said too late to check since what can I do if no queen in Nov?
2011 October 13
Is anyone else getting beat up by robbers? I had some robbing last year, with some fighting but few dead bees. This year is terrible. I went up to open a hive at 8:30. There were already a couple fights going on at several hives. I made record time checking one deep for a queen. Even so, there was a huge cloud in the air and fighting everywhere. Worse yet, if I open any hive any time of day, within 2 minutes they are attacking all of my hives. Today they did not stop until it got dark. There are several hundred dead bees scattered around my hives. I closed the openings early this moring to one-at-a-time. Tried smoking them a little. Been this way all week. I am thankful for rain Friday to give them a rest.
2011 October 3
There's a lot you can't learn by reading the books. One of my hives is still having a serious mite problem. After sugar dusting once and using one quick strip (QS), the hive dropped 4000 mites over 4 weeks. But the drop is now 150 per day natural drop (way worse than before I treated)! And today, for the first time I found a few bees with deformed wings being dumped at the entrance. The QS dropped a lot of mites, but apparently is not strong enough to kill those in the cells (must have had a bunch in the cells to still have so many). I am going to treat again this week with one QS. Since not too much brood right now, hope this will help. I don't feel the risk of losing bees this time of year is worth using two QS.
This is a hive I made a split with the queen (let hive requeen from swarm cells), and it then swarmed four times. So what did I learn about mites? The books say requeening yields a broodless period and mites can't multiply without brood. But the mites don't go away, they just hang around until brood starts up and then they gear up again. So do the mite counts religiously, don't "assume" like I did.
2011 September 24
The bees were wondefully busy today, but the Goldenrod is starting to fade so the nectar flow, while still strong, should slow soon. So how much food do they have? I prefer to open my hives to check for stores, while others prefer to use the lift for weight technique. One hive I inspected this week was heavy. But when I inspected I discovered they had 15 frames full of nectar and some CH. Add in a fr of pollen and there was precious little room for a queen to lay, and it was scattered. I added two frames of empty comb and will watch. Another hive I inspected looked pretty good in the upper deep. However, the lower deep had very little nectar or CH, which means that I have to feed that hive more heavily to get them ready for winter.
I prefer to actually know what's going on in the hive to just estimating the weight. Just personal preference, maybe because I still have so much to learn.
2011 September 14
Wow, the bees have not been this busy (and happy) since early summer. Lots of activity and you can smell the GR nectar all over the yard. I continue to monitor the food stores since they have a lot of frames to fill before winter. For sure they will need some additional food.
Finally my varroa counts are dropping. After the high counts with the sugar dusting, I put one MAQS strip on each of my 5 hives. Based on many reviews and what some members have experienced I would never put two strips on in the fall. High chance of losing a queen. Single strip may not kill all the mites, but it took out a bunch on top of the PSD. The counts stayed a bit high for a week or two. I'm not sure if that is an after effect of the formic acid or weakened mites emerging with new bees? I am doing a count on one hive that was broodless to compare. Today I inspected my hive that had the highest mite count (used PSD and MAQS two weeks ago). Checked a couple drone pupae and did not find a single mite. Found queen and good brood.
2011 September 2
Watch those Varroa mite counts in August. I thought mine were OK, but they exploded in August. Needless to say, I have to do counts more regularly over the summer. Also, since most of my hives requeened 2 or 3 times, I'm not so sure the impact on VM of a broodless period is equal to all the hype. I chose to use Powdered Sugar Dusting to see how well it works. If interested in the result, please go to Diseases/Varroa. read more
It appears that we may have a banner year for Goldenrod. Everywhere you look the fields are filled this year. Another excellent harvest for pollen is wild coneflowers (the tall yellow ones).
2011 August 19
Robbing! Last year I had some problems with robbing. Tried putting a couple frames out for them to clean but the robbers followed my bees to the hives and attacked! This year is much worse. Can't even inspect my hives right now since every time I open a hive it sets it off. This evening I thought I'd outsmart them and go up late. At 7:30 I opened a hive, filled the feeder and put another frame above the IC for them to clean. Within 3-5 minutes there was a cloud of bees diving for the hive. Not from my hives, but must be close to get there so fast?! Watching from 20 feet away and one stung me on the leg. Whew! Maybe I'll have to try 7:30 in the morning!
2011 August 16
My bees are STILL building queen cells. NUC now in 10 fr 2 deeps with queen from Dana. Removed cells since hive is very healthy, lots of CB, L, and E. Have removed supers from all but one hive. Every time it starts robbing, even though I made good time. Bees everywhere! Extracted some. Several supers not completely capped but will put 5 on each nuc for winter and feed the rest to the bees. Also one deep super with 10 full frames (about 70% capped). Will put 2 fr in each of my full hives towards winter. Have checked drone pupae in several hives for mites.... not one yet. Guess all the new queens helped a lot.
I see some goldenrod already starting to bloom. Last year the bees brought in little until the later bloom. Time to watch closely for food stores.
2011 July 11
Bees can be pretty charming! After I dumped the queenless bees, they piled up on the stand and on the hive next to them. It started to get dark so I put the box back. They walked right in. They looked so lost. In the morning I put a little honey to help them before I dumped them again. They cleared is all up. Even started to draw a small circle of comb and store a little. That's really neat. Most are slowly entering a small hive that was next to them.
One other nuc I started with a 2 1/2 week old virgin queen that I fed honey and water twice a day to keep her alive. Checked today and the hive has 2 full frames of capped brood. Now, my joys are pretty simple, but saving this queen is right up there.
Queen from Dana now has two full frames of CB as well. First inspection there were four supercedure cells started, which I removed. Guess they were just impatient for her to get going.
2011 July 6
NUC is queenless. One small nuc I started with a virgin queen is queenless. It has a laying worker. Eggs are not uniform, helter-skelter, some with 4 eggs. I've read about ways to save them but the nuc is small and I'll just dump them out and let them find a home in one of the other hives.
Two other small nucs (almost queen mating nucs) have queen cells about to emerge. The bees have removed the wax from the tip, leaving only a light brown paper like layer for the queen to chew through.
Bees have been quite busy for this time of year, bringing in a fair amount of nectar, even drawing out four new deep frames of foundation in one hive and filling with nectar. Perhaps the wet spring helped the clover, etc.
2011 June 25
Hive 1, one of my two original hives, still has swarm fever. Can you believe it? I tried to stop the swarming, removed the queen and made two splits. Hive still swarmed 3 times. Inspected today and there were two sealed QC and no larva. Plenty of room, open comb, 2 supers. The masters have advised me that I need to requeen to break the cycle. Hive can't afford to raise a new Q from scratch, it's been a long time with only a few frames of new brood. Could not remove frame and cell to NUC, only 2 1/2 frames of brood in the hive.
2011 June 19
Queen "balling". Put a 2 week old virgin queen in a nuc, waited 5 days. Put a marshmellow in. Opened the box the next day to see if they released her. As soon as I lifted the IC, there was a clump of bees on top. The queen was in the middle. I picked up the ball and had to remove the bees one at a time, they wouldn't let go! Regaged her and put her back. I will try the marshmellow again on Tuesday. I don't know if she is inferior or if they balled her because I disturbed them by foolishly checking so soon. I'll wait a bit longer to inspect this time.
2011 June 17
Basswood/Linden Trees are flowering. My Littleleaf Lindens have buds, should open in about a week. All of the nucs and swarm nucs have done wonderfully. All drew out every frame of foundation, several ended up in 10 frame boxes for more space. One 5 frame nuc gave me 4 full med frames of honey. Original hives are moving very slow. Hope to see significant capped brood this weekend. Swarming 3 or 4 times seemed to take some of the life out of them! Sunday we get to see what a Carniolan can do!
2011 May 31
Trying something new. I reversed my supers, put empty on the bottom. Added a 3rd super. Moved full super on top. Moved one frame of CH to each empty super. Since no laying queen due to all the swarms, there is a bunch of nectar in the brood boxes. Once Queen starts laying I hope they will begin to move N up to make room.
6:00 pm. Found a new queen hanging on the back of hive 2. Not marked. Still there at 8:30. Perhaps she is outcast, so I brought her home to my nursery.
2011 May 29
It keeps getting better! Today I inspected my main two hives (were before they swarmed). In hive 2 there was a little CB, no eggs, no larva, and lots of queen cells. I've learned that that arrangement means they are about to swarm again very soon. Some of the QC were open on the end so I started to remove them. I looked at my work board and there was a queen walking all over one of the cells. She had just emerged. I caught and marked her. Before getting back to the hive there was a 2nd queen on the work board, just emerged! So I had to find something to put the 1st Q in. Then caught and marked the 2nd Q.
We returned to checking the hive and found several more QC that had a Q starting to emerge. We ended up with 6 queens. Had to put some in various containers until I get organized. One queen had a couple bees chasing her, maybe the queen that was about to lead the swarm. When we caught her she was extremely agitated, buzzing loudly. Once again, since a number of the cells were open on the end, the bees were keeping the queens in the cells until they decided what to do. Can you believe that? Picked one Q and returned her to the hive.
This swarming thing continues to puzzle. There is some open comb, but lots of nectar. Two deeps and two supers. Fair number of bees but sure not like before. Maybe I have to extract several frames to truly free up a central brood nest?
2011 May 28
Tulip Trees are starting to bloom! Swarms and nucs are so much fun. Boxed energy. Inspected 2 swarms hives today. Both have laying queens. After just 9 days, they have drawn out 9+ frames in a deep, all filled with eggs, lots of nectar. They are out of room. I am going to put on a QE and 2nd deep, move some frames up and give more foundation. Get some more drawn comb before I sell, maybe even a little honey.
2011 May 26
Black Locust in Medina are starting to bloom! Clusters are there, not quite open yet. Lost a small swarm yesterday. Hard to see on trunk of small tree. Went to get it and just as I was getting ready to cut I heard a loud buzz. Looked up and in 20 secs they were airbourne and gone. Never witnessed that, pretty cool. Must have swarmed Tuesday.
Good news is all but one nuc are hauling a fair amount of pollen. Hope that means queens are mated and getting ready to lay.
2011 May 23
Yada,yada! Another day another swarm. Hive 3 (swarmed last friday, 3 days ago) swarmed again. Nice size swarm, went to the exact same spot as the last one. How do they do it? Where do they get all the bees?
So we decided to go against conventional wisdom. Time to try something different. Everyone says leave the hive alone. If you try to stop it you may end up queenless. Well the risk of being queenless may not be as bad losing all my hives?! So I inspected hive 3. I found and marked a young queen. Then removed one last sealed queen cell. (Proves the bees are not letting the queens destroy the others). After placing the last box back on the hive I looked down and there is a beautiful young queen walking on my work board! I caught her, marked her, placed her in a small cage.
The hive has one queen (I hope), no cells, no larva, and no eggs. It can’t swarm again at least for a while. I wish I had tried this on my big hives as they have no more eggs or larva, just cells the bees are protecting.
Catching someone else's swarms is fun. Catching your own swarms is just watching your honey fly away, then a couple hours work so you give them away or sell them!
Denzil says I get an A++ for having such fantastic hives after such a hard winter, and an F-- for swarm management!
2011 May 22
Another double swarm within minutes of each other and this time they clustered within two feet of each other. Caught and hived them both, but now out of boxes. I'm glad no one is keeping score because right now it's Bees 6, Paul & Yvonne 0!! Amazing.
2011 May 20
I've been swarmed again!!! Kept an eye all day on my two big hives. All's well, but still piping in hive 1. Then about 5 pm we were walking along and there was another swarm! It was only about 20 feet from hive 3, only 6 feet up in an apple tree. We quickly caught it and put it in a nuc. This is crazy! After we caught the swarm, there were a group of bees on the front of hive 3 with their butts in the air, fanning like crazy. I suppose that since they were so close to the hive they thought they lost the queen and were trying to abort the swarm?! At least I know which hive it came from.
Hive 3 was my overwintered nuc, and it swarmed 2 weeks ago. Had a first year queen, has two deeps (2nd not even started), and a super. Such hives are not supposed to swarm! What happened to the theory that the 1st queen out kills the others? This means the bees are preventing her so that they can swarm again. I think I need an advanced class!
2011 May 19
Oh,oh. Checked this morning and still queen piping in hive 1. That means new queen and more QC. What to do?!
2011 May 18
A Year's experience in one day! For the past two days I've heard queen piping in hive 1. I took two nucs off this hive (and the queen), left only two sealed QCs. This morning the sun popped out and I decided to inspect hive 2 (still fighting swarming). Just then bees started to POUR out of hive 1. There were some high in the sky, so I realized they were swarming. I followed them to a tree 100 feet away in our swamp. Fairly large swarm about 18 feet up. My wife and I cut a path thru the muck, hauled a ladder and stuff to the tree. Since water below, decided to put a large plastic beneath the swarm. Then we heard even more buzzing and realized it was from back by our hives. Went back to get the plastic and bees started pouring our of hive 2! Amazing. They headed in the general direction of the first swarm. By the time we walked back to the swarm there was only one very large swarm. I think they combined?!
We cut the branch and let it bend down slowly. Got a bunch of bees into the box and gathered the plastic. Set them up in a deep with one frame drawn comb and foundation. Also put a couple small pieces of burr comb in the bottom. Went back and another 2 pounds or so on the branch. So repeated everything. Finally did it a third time.
Closed everything up, it started to cloud up and then started to rain and thunder. Can you believe how many things went right in one morning! Now the big question..... if they combined, who wins the war of queens? Hive 1 & 2 now nice and calm. Click on any picture to enlarge.
2011 May 13
New queens should have emerged yesterday in one big hive and two nucs. I am anxious to peek inside to see what they are doing, but know better. Especially the big hive. There are so many bees! I now have 2 supers on my hives. Doubt they are doing anything yet in the 2nd super, but they are full of bees, which has to be good (more space).
Checked my nuc made with the queen. Drawing some foundation slightly and she is filling them with eggs. One frame almost entire side is eggs. Put on 2nd deep with one frame capped honey and foundation. She will need room very soon and hope they will draw me some comb. Sure could use a few spare frames of comb!
2011 May 6
I gave in! Ten days since could inspect hive. 17 sealed QC. Eight were large, well formed cells. So made two nucs. One with queen, one with two QC, and left two QC in the main hive. They were filling the brood box with nectar again, even with super on. Think I was lucky! Starting to cap 3 frames in the super. Still open frames for honey, but lots of bees. Maybe time for 2nd super?!
2011 Apr 26
SWARM Alert Two! Only 5 days since last inspection. Removed 18 Q cups (empty) and 6 sealed Q cells (found queen first). How can they build and seal in only 5 days? In obvious places, could not have missed last time. They started to draw the new F a little. Upper fairly full so reversed deeps again. Good news! The super I put on 5 days ago is being drawn and filled. Fr 5 & 6 75% filled nectar. Others partial. Better yet, there were noticeably less bees in the deeps since super had quite a few.
Why not use the cells to make a bunch of splits? I made one last summer, will make another with Q from Dana, and don't want 7-8 hives so fast. More important, most BK can make a split. In trying to manage this hive I have learned a ton in the last two weeks. Can't wait 10 days to inspect like the books say. Adding supers early can help a lot! Managing and inspecting very strong hives improves one's technique immensely. And I can still make splits next week (may be forced to).
Interesting note. Expanded my overwintered nuc to 10 frames one week ago. Inspected. Doing great, 4-5 frames in super filled with nectar (those 5 were drawn). BUT... I removed 19 Q cups, all empty. This queen is the sister of the queen above (they combined on 37 Q cups in 5 days)!!!
2011 Apr 21
SWARM Alert! Full inspection of strong hive. Found 26 queen cells (6-8 cups, 6 drawn to only small opening, about to seal, and 2 sealed). Extremely strong. Every frame covered completely with bees, most the bees were 2 to 3 deep. Reversed 8 days ago, upper had 6-7 frames of open comb, now almost full of CB and nectar. Removed 4 frames of CH, installed 4 frames foundation to give space and something to do. Found queen and marked her. Put on QE and added super. Hope they will start storing some of the nectar in the super, or at least hang out there. Will check in 6-7 days. If more cells will have to split. This is truly exciting!
2011 Apr 13
1st full inspection. Both hives very strong, both deeps covered in bees. Lots of burr comb, and lots of drone cells (couple walking around). One hive 10 Q cups, one enlarged to 1", occupied. Removed all. Removed one fr brood (5 fr) and swapped with other hive. Cleaned all frames then reversed deeps. Hope this helps, think I have a problem due to strength.
Found Q in NUC and successfully marked her.
2011 Apr 9
Only 55 but the bees are very busy. Tracked them to 4 locations, all maple trees. Removed hive wraps last week. Hoping for some sun tomorrow (80) so can do full inspection, possibly reverse.
2011 Mar 7
Spring is Springing! Bees flying, hauling lots of pollen, first look inside. Put fondant on since at the top and raising babies. Wonderfully exciting!!
2011 Mar 1
Rain melted all the snow. First glimpse of Skunk Cabbage Pods about 3-4 inches high.
2011 Feb 13
Life is good. 48 degrees, sunny. A few bees flying around the entrance of both hives and my nuc
2011 Feb 3
Noticed a small icicle just inside the entrance of my nuc (1" opening). 2" poly on top of inner cover. Added a small shim under the rear of the inner cover to increase ventilation. Solid BB. Hard to believe moisture a problem for such a small hive. Fished quite a few dead bees out of BB.
2011 Jan 1
Temperature is 54 degrees and both hives had a nice cloud of bees orienting around the entrance.