Sunday, April 15, 2012

Another round of inspections.

I only managed to take a quick look inside the Observation Hive yesterday.  But it was just long enough to find the queen and move her into the observation frame. I found that no syrup at all had been consumed in the last week, which I think is excellent!  This means the hive is finding enough food through forage so I therefore replaced the feeder with an empty drawn frame of honeycomb.

I've enjoyed watching the bees at work the last couple of evenings and one interesting observation has been the amount of drones that seem to be just milling about the hive. Is this normal? Just by sitting near the hive it is apparent that there are a lot of drones flying in the late afternoon.  I'm not sure if the guards are simply not letting them back in?

The weather got worse throughout the day yesterday and I didn't manage to do any other inspections. Thankfully the weather improved this morning and I managed to look through the other 4 hives I have at home (or near my home); I managed to peek inside the hives long enough to get a feel for what was going on. The two hives in my backyard are thriving.  I actually put additional supers on both. The large hive now has 3 supers, the other (formally weak) hive 2 supers.  There is a lot of nectar coming in and I thought it prudent to give them some space to work with. There is brood in the top deeps of both hives, but not enough to warrant a reversal. Perhaps next week.

The old "nasty" hives that came from the city appear to be in good shape too.  I saw the new queen in one, but as I found her on the top of the frames in the deep I decided not to delve further into the hive for fear of killing her!  I have "previous" in this respect! So I left the hive with a single deep and a single super.  I will put another deep on in a week or so.

The other "nasty" hive I found to contain both brood and larvae, but I didn't see the queen - this time. I therefore don't know if the queen in the hive is the new queen or the old one but I guess I'll find out in due course.  You will remember the hive started as the top deep of the combined hive that I split in an attempt to determine where the old queen was, just so that I could kill her!  Like the other hive I found a lot of nectar in the deep so I added a super on this hive as well.  I will also add a second deep in a week or so.

What is good is that the temperament of both hives seems improved.  Yes, bees are flying in my face as I inspect the hive and they follow me, but they were not as aggressive and didn't sting me today!  I take this as a very good sign!

I will try to look over the Botanical Garden hive in the next couple of days, to see how my super and the hive are doing.  I will need to think about making preparations for a second hive here!

I have enough just about enough equipment to tide me over but I will need to order some more this week!!

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