March 14th Inspection

Back in late January (the last time I checked the hives at home) I found each of the 3 hive were still alive.

I checked them again and they are each still alive and doing well.

Almost every bees that returned from forage was bringing in bright yellow pollen. It was really neat to see this much pollen coming back into the hives!

I know what you're thinking, it's not dysentery, it's mud I slathered on the box last fall because there was a gap between the two. In fact, these bees found a crack and are investigating whether they can get back into their hive here (they can't).

First Hive
The first hive was doing fine. I saw right away signs of brood and lots of stores, so I closed them back up. Below is a picture I snapped of a frame from this hive. Yellow is fresh nectar (from somewhere!), purple is fresh pollen, and blue is eggs, larva and brood.

Middle Hive
In January, I saw the queen in the middle hive, but also saw multiple eggs in a couple of cells, so I thought she was failing. I ordered a replacement queen which should arrive in a few weeks.

When I checked on them this week, they had 14 frames full of bees front and back, and 2-3 frames of brood of all stages. I didn't see any signs of multiple eggs any more either.

I did notice that they had consumed all their fondant that I had supplied, and were rather light on stores. Only the two outer frames had any stores at all.

I gave them a hive-top feeder and 1 gallon of 1:1 syrup. I wonder if there's just not enough stores in there for the queen to lay more than 2 frames of brood right now, and given the overall size of the colony, I didn't want them to starve.

I'll use the queen I ordered to either replace her, make a split, or both.

Third Hive
The third hive was going crazy! It had twice as many bees at the entrance, and had 16-17 full frames of bees inside, and still had plenty of stores.

I opened the cover, and looked where the 2" spacer rim was to give fondant room, and they had begun drawing wax.

I looked at the surface of the frames, and saw more fresh wax.

These guys are going to be tough to try to prevent from swarming!

I rotated all the hives boxes around (switched top to bottom boxes) since they were all so large, I couldn't remove any boxes and move them down to a single deep.

I'll check on them again in two weeks when the queen arrives, and make some splits and maybe even give a super or two to provide extra space.

Comments For This Post: (3) | Post Your Comments! Hide The Comment Form
Eric says...
Date:   March 21, 2015, 10:17 am

Very informative, thanks. I wonder what they're getting the pollen from? If you end up splitting the colony, do you just have an extra hive laying around, or do you have to go out and buy new equipment?

Robin Edmundson says...
Date:   March 26, 2015, 6:04 am

Those are beautiful colonies.   I'm so glad this winter has been better than the last.

Chris (Show Me The Honey) says...
Date:   April 24, 2015, 8:44 am


I have a couple of extra nucs available just in case I get a swarm call, or need to split my own hives to prevent a swarm. Great question!

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