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Hive inspection and box reversal

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

  1. Jul 1, 2017
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    Hive #1 has a queen! :weee She is pretty and laying up a storm!
     
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  2. Feb 10, 2018
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    I'm glad I checked on the hives today. Hive #1 needed a box reversal, as the top box was almost full. LOTS of brood, honey and pollen. They were starting to backfill, but no queen cells yet. Now they have a nice big empty box on top. Hive #2 (the one that swarmed in October) STILL has a really high population, so I split off some frames of brood, honey, pollen and nurse bees and created a new hive. I'll reverse boxes on them next week, when the queen has a chance to fill up the empty frames I put in there.

    This is the strongest my hives have ever come out of winter. If you could call our "winter" this year a winter.

    Right now, the manzanita and wild plums are in full bloom. We have TONS of manzanita around here, so it's a very strong nectar source. With the weather in the high 60's, they are going to town on them. Flowering quince, pluots, camelia, and dogwood are just starting to bloom. My orange isn't in bloom yet, but it's budding.
     
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  3. Feb 11, 2018
    soarwitheagles

    soarwitheagles Loving the herd life

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    Congrats HC on your success with those hives! Good job!

    Quick question: Are you seeing any drones yet in your hives?

    Thanks,

    Soar
     
  4. Feb 13, 2018
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    I didn't notice any drones, but saw some capped ones, so soon! I did find bee casualties in the chicken waterer, so I added a stick to float on it and hopefully no more drownings. I have tried to give them their own water source, but they insist on the chicken waterer. They are collecting water like crazy and the honey is happening FAST! The weather has been perfect for the manzanita. There were a lot of orientation flights today also.
     
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  5. Mar 8, 2018
    soarwitheagles

    soarwitheagles Loving the herd life

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    Well, good luck to you this year HC! I am hoping your bee labors will continue to yield sweet success!

    Here, drones were no where to be seen a few weeks ago. Now, there are thousands...so the flow has begun and the build ups of colonies is now in full swing...

    Exciting times to be living in!!!

    Have a good one!
     
  6. Mar 13, 2018
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    Yeah, I need to get into the boxes and see if I have a laying queen. It snowed, and then I didn't want to disturb the hive around mating flights, and now it's raining. Next break in the weather and I'll be peeking. There are still some bees traveling to and from the hive, so I'm hoping for the best. My other 2 hives are doing fine, but I haven't gotten inside yet on them either.

    Babs - how are your hives doing?
     
  7. Mar 13, 2018
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    Think Babs lost all her bees over the winter. She said she has packages coming in April but is concerned because all her fruit trees are in bloom now and she's seeing zero bees around.
     
  8. Apr 24, 2018
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    Yesterday was bee checking day. With the rainy weather we have had, I hadn't gotten out there to check on them. Plus, my mother had surgery, so I hadn't had the time.

    I started with the split I did off of the big hive. I did it too early, and they died out during the cold spell. I don't think they made a queen either. Oh well.

    Then I went to my first hive. Population is down from what it was before the cold/rainy weather, but there were eggs and brood. I didn't find the queen. It's a small cluster (which I could tell from the entrance activity) right now, but the clover is beginning to bloom, so they will build up quickly with the change in weather. Very little nectar storage, but with so much in bloom right now, they will be fine.

    Next, onto hive #2. Oh my gosh this hive builds up so much! This is the hive that swarmed last October, and it's just as big now. The top box is packed with bees and wall to wall brood. I saw evidence that they are starting to back fill with nectar. No queen cells though, which was surprising. The bottom box had some brood in the center, some pollen storage, but mostly empty cells. I removed 4 frames and split them off into the empty hive from the dead out. I reversed the boxes, and now there is room for the queen to lay. I couldn't find the queen, but there were fresh eggs, so not too concerning. I removed both bottom boards, as there was condensation in the large hive. This year will be the first year that I get honey off of this hive, I can't wait to see what they do. Of course, I'm going to have to stay on top of them with their desire to build up so much.

    I then went and grabbed my nuc box and set it out as a swarm trap, just in case hive #2 decides to swarm. Then they have somewhere to go. Baited it with lemongrass and set it out.

    I started cleaning up and by hive #1 I noticed a small cluster of about 5 bees, and I took a look. Sure enough, there was a queen in the grass. I put her at the front entrance of the hive, and she marched right in. Phew!
     
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  9. May 17, 2018
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    Well, I screwed up.

    I started a hive inspection. I've been meaning to get in them for a couple of weeks, but the timing just didn't work out. I've been helping my mom through chemo, and well, things haven't been getting done like normal. I came home today and saw the first few blossoms open on the blackberries, so I knew today had to be the day.

    I got into Hive #1 and they are doing well. Saw evidence of the queen, but not the queen herself. They still have a good amount of room.

    I opened Hive #2 that I split off of less than a month ago. It's freaking packed, back filled, etc. TONS of honey, pollen, brood, bees. This is the same hive that swarmed in late October last year. I found 3 beautiful capped queen cells in the top box, but didn't look in the bottom. I saw the queen too. This queen is a good queen that builds up fast and in a big way, so I want to keep her. I can't wait to see the honey production this hive produces. Not remembering when my last inspection was off the top of my head, I had a bright idea of simulating a swarm and moving her to the hive I split off. So, I opened that hive, and they have a queen laying already. Well shoot.

    I'm betting this hive is swarming tomorrow or Saturday. I have a bait hive (a NUC)set out to catch the swarm, but this is going to be a very large swarm, so they are going to need to be hived right away. I have no bottom boards. A friend who isn't doing beekeeping anymore offered me her screened bottom board, so I'll go pick that up tomorrow. All she wants is a jar of honey - no problem. Then I have to get a spot ready for a 4th hive. This must be bee math happening.

    I added the super, half drawn and half undrawn, figuring they could use some of their overstock to draw comb. Here are a couple of pictures of the 2nd hive.

    IMG_2731.jpg IMG_2734.jpg
     
  10. May 18, 2018
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    Score! My friend gave me 2 outer covers, 1 inner cover, lids with holes for mason jars, 3 deeps with foundation frames in them, 2 supers with foundation frames in them, and a screened bottom board. And all she wants are a couple jars on honey.