Saturday, March 31, 2012

Oh wow!

So today I got into the hives again for a little spring cleaning and WOW... Actually triple WOW! I checked them 2 weeks ago and the stained and orange hive looked good. The white hive however looked really low on bees but I did see the queen and she was laying. It's been nice for most of March and things started blooming early. This of course started the bees building up early. Anyway below are my observations from 2 weeks ago and today.

White Hive
3/17/2012 - Low population of bees inside and not much activity at the entrance. I did find the queen inside and she has been laying not as much as other 2 hives.

Today - 3 frames of eggs and capped brood. Lots of larva and triple the amount of bees as 2 weeks ago. She's laying very nice and has filled both sides of a frame with solid capped brood. I guess she's off to a slow start. She looked really good when I found her and I should get a split from this hive in a couple of weeks.

Stained Hive
3/17/2012 - Lots and lots of bees and brood. This inspection was just a quick check and I pulled a split out of it due to the amount of bees in it. Didn't looked for the queen but find lots of eggs, capped brood, and lots of activity.

Today - This hive is overflowing with bees. Serious overflowing. The queen had 12 frames just packed full of eggs and brood. Swarm cells were also everywhere in this hive. I figured it would be the case but I'm glad I caught them before the swarm. I pulled out 4 frames of capped brood and eggs and one frame with a few nice fat swarm cells hanging off the bottom and placed them in the blue hive. I removed the medium super on top of this hive and added it to the blue hive. It was a medium honey super just jam packed full of bees. I also pulled out 2 frames of eggs and brood and placed them in a nuc along with some bees. I added 7 empty frames to the top super and a empty medium super to the top and closed it back up. That should give them something to work on but I doubt it keeps them from swarming. That's what bees do in the spring though. Anyway, that makes 3 splits out of this hive in 2 weeks. I think in another 2 weeks I could probably pull another out. This Carniolans are going like gang busters! So much so I was not able to find the queen with all the bees. I figured she's in one of the boxes. Maybe if they haven't swarmed by next week I'll pull her out and put her in a nuc to keep her here. Otherwise she's free to find a new home as I have faith her daughters will be just as good and her genetics in the wild isn't going to hurt my feelings a bit.

Blue Hive
As mentioned it was dead. I cleaned out a tiny bit of wax moth damage and added a split (see above) from the stained hive as well as a medium super full of bees. Should give them a head start when they get a queen raised and mated.

Orange Hive
Doing well. Didn't look for the queen but lots of bees and brood. In a week or two I will probably pull a split out of this hive also.

Blue Nuc (started 3/17/2012)
Doing well, they have a nice queen cell and still some brood to hatch. Nice number of bees inside also.

Orange Nuc
This is the nuc I created today from a split taken from the stained hive.

I also added a empty nuc I made with 2 frames of drawn comb and honey along with 3 empty un-drawn frames to the barn loft. It's in the opening pointed almost south. Hopefully someone will decide to move in. I'll need to get to the bee store A.S.A.P. and get 3 frames to replace those as well as pick up 20-40 new ones for nucs, new hives, and spares. I'd like to do away with anything that isn't wood and plastic or all plastic this year.

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