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Hive inspection and box reversal

Discussion in 'Habitat - The Beehive' started by Happy Chooks, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. Feb 26, 2015
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    Yesterday was bee inspection day. I was fighting dusk when I did it, so in hindsight, I should have smoked them. They were not too happy that I was messing with them.



    I opened the top box of the hive, and they have good honey stores on the outer frames. The inner frames had brood of varying stages, so the queen is laying again! [​IMG] Didn't spot her, but the eggs are there. (again, trying to work quickly) Bee population is up from my last inspection. [​IMG]



    So then, I wanted to look in the bottom box. BUT, the top box was stuck to one of the frames in the bottom box. My friend Mary should have been here to take pictures, because I'm sure it was quite a sight! So, I had my knees around the bottom box, while trying to twist the top box off. Keep in mind that a deep box can weigh 60+ lbs and you don't want to drop it with thousands of bees in it. I finally got it off and set it aside on my top cover. I inspected the bottom box, which was completely empty of brood and honey stores. So I took it off, put the top box on the bottom and the empty box on top, so they have room to "grow" upwards. I didn't see any supercedure (swarm) cells, so it looks like I got everything done on time. And I finished before dusk!



    Hopefully they fill up the top box quickly, so I can get a honey super on there!
     
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  2. Feb 26, 2015
    Maggiesdad

    Maggiesdad Loving the herd life

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    I don't know your weather... is the nectar flow coming on? Don't forget they burn 80% of their stores in the last 20% of winter... Also, a cold snap can make the cluster shrink away from the sides, then they can't reach the stores on the side of the box. It would be a shame to get this close and then...
    I would consider feeding them unless they were bringing in nectar and pollen.
     
  3. Feb 26, 2015
    babsbag

    babsbag Herd Master

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    In CA where I live and @Happy Chooks is in this same region, we have had spring for a month. The alder trees bloom in Jan (the first pollen source of the year) and the almond, apricot, peach, and plum are in bloom too, as well as mustard, radish, poppies, and manzanita. I am sure there are a bunch of others I am missing. Our temps have been in the 70s and the bees are out in full swing. I will be getting hive splits in a few weeks. Not only is our winter probably over but it never happened to begin with. I have had 3 days of frost this year, should have been more like 20, at least.

    @Happy Chooks ...good job getting your hive through the winter.
     
  4. Feb 26, 2015
    Maggiesdad

    Maggiesdad Loving the herd life

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    Good deal!

    We picked up another 5" of snow last night... I'm so sick of February!
     
  5. Feb 26, 2015
    babsbag

    babsbag Herd Master

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    My friends east of the Rockies all say the same thing. You have a lot of company.
     
  6. Feb 26, 2015
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    Yep, we've had a pretty nonexistent winter. While the rest of the country is in a deep freeze, we've been in the 70's. My bees were even bringing in pollen through "winter", though I have no idea what was in bloom. I tried feeding them syrup, and they won't take it. (they had a patty in the hive though which they've been busy working on) If we do get another cold snap, I'll stick another patty inside the hive.

    My pluots are done blooming, plums, nectarines, and peaches are in full bloom. Manzanita, a huge pollen source here, has been in bloom over a month. Wildflowers like sweet peas, my roses that never went dormant, forsythia (I think that's what it is - yellow stinky bushes), redbuds, dogwoods, magnolias, daffodils, and some coral colored stick like bush are all in bloom. Lilacs are about to start blooming and so will the clover. So there is LOTS of pollen around right now.

    Now with all that said, we'll probably get snow in June. :mad: It's happened before. We're getting a rainstorm tomorrow, it's not supposed to be much though.
     
  7. Mar 29, 2015
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    I inspected my hive again today and the queen has made it to the upper box. A good amount of brood at various stages, pollen and honey. Hive population has really increased now with all of the pollen around.

    I spotted the queen, but wait............that's not the queen I installed in my hive years ago. My queen was marked yellow, and this queen is not marked. So it appears my hive replaced their queen sometime, but there was no swarm. I did spot the start of 2 supercedure cells in the upper box. They are just a big blob right now, not hanging down yet. There is still a lot of room in the hive, so I'm not sure why they would be building the supercedure cells.

    So now I have a decision to make. Do I split the hive and not get much honey this year? Or do I leave them alone and add the super in a few weeks?
     
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  8. Mar 29, 2015
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    I got this picture of one of my bees coming back in with her pollen sacs full.
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Mar 30, 2015
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    Some close ups yesterday:


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Apr 12, 2015
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    I put my honey super on yesterday! :woot They aren't quite full in the upper box yet, but I didn't want to take the chance of them running out of room. I put the 2 partial frames of honey thawed out from the freezer in for them to finish it.

    Once the blackberries start blooming, they are going to be filling it up quick!
     
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