BP Hive Finds More Nectar

The Blue/Purple hive is my best hive. It's out performed my other hives by leaps and bounds both this year and last.

According to my notes, I harvested several supers from it last July and again in late August.

There is murmur going around that we might not have any significant fall nectar flow this year, and if there is, it might not even be enough to get stores for the bees to overwinter.

It's a lot of speculation based on the current drought we've been in, and a couple of local folks have indicated they harvested and stored their supers for the season already.

The purpose of inspecting this hive today was the following:
  1. Check for eggs (queen alive)
  2. Check for stores (do they need feeding during drought)
  3. Check to see if supers are cleaned up from previous extraction and ready to be stored.
I pulled the supers off and set them down, and pulled a few deep brood frames.

They were bulging with capped honey. Every cell, even the little distorted cells in the corners will filled with honey! I saw 4 frames this way in each deep brood box, so I knew they definitely had enough stores.

I looked through a few more frames and saw plenty of capped brood, so I knew the queen is doing great.

Next I started to go through the supers. When I put them back on two weeks ago after extracting them, I put them above the inner cover hoping the queen wouldn't go up into them and lay brood in them, and the bees would finish cleaning them up.

I was expecting to see all the supers empty and cleaned out, but instead, found bees pouring over each other trying to get up through the inner cover, and fill the supers again!

The picture below is a super frame that the queen previously used to lay brood in so it's got a bit of dark comb, but the pink outlined area is already refilled with honey.

I saw several frames this way in several supers, so I decided to remove the inner cover restriction, and let the bees have at them. If they're bringing in nectar this fast through the restricted space of the inner cover hole, then maybe they'll fill them quick enough to keep the queen out of them.

I took the inner cover out and placed it back up top by the outer cover where it traditionally goes.

As I reflected on this I took a step back (I physically stepped back a few feet) to where I could see the landing board of all three hives.

The Purple/White hive was just hanging out wash-boarding, and the Phoenix hive was, well, not doing much, but this Blue/Purple hive was coming and going like crazy!

So why was this hive bringing in nectar and the others just hanging out? Did this Blue/Purple hive know about a secret nectar source that the other two hives hadn't discovered? And where was this source? After all, we've been in a drought for several weeks!

I would give anything to be able to tag a small camera to one of these bees and see where they're going!

It looks like we've got a bit of break in the 100+ temperatures for the next week or two, so maybe they'll keep finding this hidden nectar and refill their supers for a third extraction this year?

I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

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