June Frame

June Frame

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Feb 27, 2014

I've been into the hive a few times and am pleased so far with their progress in rebounding from the winter, and getting ready for spring.  I took a few pictures of each of the hives including their frame status and queens for reference, but as most of them were busy - I'll keep those for myself at this time.

For the last couple of weeks I've noticed the girls bringing in lots of pollen,  about 30-40 % of the time whenever there was good flying weather.  I've identified a couple of American Elm trees on my property and the girls have really been enjoying it. 

Last week I did a 'full' inspection and here's what I found.

H1 -

New queen from last fall.  2+ frames of mixed capped/new brood and 4+ frames of capped honey.  This is the hive I'd given a strip of pollen patty too and they responded very well with it.  I added another strip of pollen patty to it a couple of days ago and will check on it's status, weather permitting this weekend.

H2 - T

his is the hive that died due to not enough bees to keep warm.  It's ready for the Nuc I should receive in about 3 weeks.

H3 -

This hive has 2 double 4-frame nucs on it.  A few weeks ago I'd noticed the queen starting to lay in the top of 1 side and only a few bees moving around the other side.  I didn't check the bottom box other than to move 1 side and peak down.  It had almost 3 frames of capped honey on that side, so I presume its the same on the other.  Last week I did a full inspection and saw capped brood in the lower 'main brood box' and almost 3 frames of mixed brood in the same upper 4-frame box as the previous week.  I also noticed a lot of bees in the other 4-frame nuc box and believe the queen has migrated over there and started laying.  From my estimate, I've probably gotten about 5 frames of brood laid by this queen so far, and she seems to be doing well.  I have this box configured in this manner in hopes of making 2 more nuc/hives from this setup in a few weeks whenever the pollen starts coming in strong, and our nector flow starts.  I'm going to let them raise their own queens from this stock and they should be able to build up good for the summer and into the winter.

H4 -

Angry hive.  A week or so whenever I entered it I noticed that almost all the tops of the frames were covered with bees and there was about 30 or so bees on top of the Inner Cover.  Last week I counted 4+ frames of capped honey and several frames of mixed brood/pollen so this hive is doing really well so far.  I broke the #2 top frame off while trying to pry it off due to it's being "glued' down really well - so I just pushed it back down and left the frame as it was.  I'll deal with it later.  I peeked into it the other day and notice about 150 or so been up on top of the Inner cover and all the frames are now covered with bees so I decided to add another brood box, but only gave it 4 frames - and of those 4 frames only 1 is a 'full' frame in depth.  The other frames had partial natural comb drawn already and I wanted the hive to continue building them out.  Once they completely draw those down and need more frames, I'll add more frames until I eventually get a full deep box.  I also had a nugget left over from my pollen strip and give it to them to see what they would do.  It didn't take more than about 15 seconds for that to be covered in bees and started to be consumed.

So far I have 3 hives that seem to be going pretty well, considering it's the last of February and I'm pleased about this.  At this time it appears that I might be able to create 1 to 2 nuc's from H3 and I'll probably create another from H4.  I have a package coming in about 3 weeks and hopefully it will do well as I already have some drawn comb for them to get started in.  I also have a VSH Nuc which should be ready for mid-May pickup from NC.  I'm excited about getting these genetics and possibly making a few hives from it.  I also like the idea of possibly creating/re-queening these genetics into my other stock - but need to 'watch' them to see how they do this year.  I'll probably try to create another Nuc from it that way I have 2 VSH genetic hives to compare/contrast to.

This Saturday is the annual Spring Bee conference here in town so I'll be busy with this day.  There are going to be several talks on queen rearing and survivability so that should be exiting to hear. 

Maybe I'll see someone there that I know, that follows this blog ...