by BeeRad

A big thanks to Perry Welch for driving 4 hours round trip to help us split our hive. Dennis, Lori and her daughter Molly, Julie/Brad and our daughter Elianajoy were on hand to watch and learn.  What an experience as we saw 2 queens and about 12 queen cells – a rare opportunity!  This was probably the 12-15th time I inspected a hive and it was my first time actually seeing the queen, and I even spotted one myself. Pretty cool!

We did not find any eggs or uncapped brood, but we did see some capped brood. Based on the development timeline, this means a queen had not laid any eggs for likely at least a week, possibly two. This combined with so many queen cells made us wonder if the hive had already swarmed. Based on this assumption, we left the lower deep in place along with the two queens we spotted (perhaps they were newly born queens??).  We also left a frame with queen cells just in case. We added a 2nd deep on top. We hope this hive has a strong local queen and continues to grow. We’ll inspect it in a week or so and look for new eggs.

The upper deep from this hive we relocated to the south west position to bee a new hive. We removed the queen cells from all the frames. Perry added a new purchased queen into this deep.  I will remove the cage in 2-3 days.  I’ll inspect again after another 5-8 days and look for new eggs being laid in this hive as well.  If either split hive looks to be losing bee population over the next few weeks, I’ll add a frame of capped brood from one of the nucs to help support it with about to hatch bees.

Lastly we looked at the two nucs installed two weeks ago.

On several occasions over the last week, we have noticed a lot of bearding (when the bees congregate on the outside of the deep) on the front face. It was probably a mistake that all frames I installed had fully built out comb (I thought this would help). But Perry said many of the young bees are in their stage of life to produce wax and build out comb and if all the frames already have comb there is nothing for them to do. So good learning!

Perry suggests always having at least 3-4 new frames so they have a place to build comb. So tomorrow, May 6, I will add a 2nd deep with new frames and inspect both hives to check the laying pattern.

It’s great to see our apiary filling out, now with 4 hives in place. Here’s the updated schedule:

Install Upper deep on hive 1, inspect

May 6  at 945a

Class for Waldorf kids, all welcome

May 7  1230-120p

Install 2 packages of bees

May 12: 1pm

Inspect each hive 2x/mo

May 26, then ongoing in June

To-do items:

  • Paint 2nd coat on outside of deeps a light grn or yellow  (1 still needs primer)

  • Strip / repair frames in bag on top shelf

  • Prepare for mite counts/treatments

– BeeRad


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