Checking on Hives at Tom's

Thursday we went over to visit the hives at Tom's place after work and see how they were doing.

One of the hives overwintered with a super in place. This can be a really handy way to ensure leaving enough stores on the hive for the bees. Sometimes the queen moves up into it at the end of winter and begins raising brood though.

Below is a picture of the super frames. The queen was present, and laying a great pattern. Right in the super frames.

Not a big deal actually, as the nectar flow gets going the bees will be storing honey into the super which should encourage the queen to move back down into the lower deep boxes.

So far we've not used any queen excluders (I don't think we own any) and have had good luck with a consistent supply of nectar flow helping to keep the queen out of the supers, so we're expecting the same this year.

Switching to the other remaining hives, we were happy to see they had very healthy and strong colonies. 

We gave the middle hive a super since we're seeing some trees starting to bloom and a bit of fresh nectar being brought into the hives.

The other hive wasn't quite ready for a super yet, but I have a feeling it will be soon.

Comments For This Post: (3) | Post Your Comments! Hide The Comment Form
Mark Martin says...
Date:   April 15, 2013, 10:48 am

I also left a honey super on for over wintering the bees and they are currently up to the top of that box.  I was wondering if the queen would go back down into the brood boxes before starting to lay again but I'm guessing she will lay in the honey supers.

In the first picture it looks like you have the inner cover between the brood boxes and the honey super?  And some mesh in the hole?  Just curious what is going on there!

Chris (Show Me The Honey) says...
Date:   April 15, 2013, 11:24 am

Good eye...When I took the picture, I didn't even notice that!

The first picture is misleading (a little). We moved the super off the hive and set it down onto a workbench so we could reach it easier. It so happens there was an inner cover and hive-top feeder there in the way, so we just stacked the super on top of all of it.

You're looking through the super, resting on top of an inner cover, through the hole of the inner cover, down to the screen of the hive-top feeder below.   :)

Sometimes if you have a heavy nectar flow start up the bees will pack the nectar in the top-most box (the super with brood in it) and will slowly force the queen back down lower to her brood boxes. I say sometimes because last year was a good example of where I couldn't get one of my queens back into the brood boxes and out of the supers for anything!

I had to pick her off the frames, move her down, and put a fully capped super in between the brood boxes and the super with brood in it. The queen then didn't cross a full box of capped honey and stayed down below.

Mark Martin says...
Date:   April 15, 2013, 2:30 pm

Ahhh, I see!

I suppose you could move her down and throw an excluder on above her for a few days until she starts laying in the bottom boxes too.  Hmmmmm, we'll see what I have to do this spring with mine.

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