Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Musical Hives

From five to three, that was today's work.

My big hive, it turns out, was all smoke and mirrors. Those bees have been busy, but their numbers are dwindling. I could tell because there were fewer bees flying, and when I got into it, there were fewer bees on the tops of the bars. No queen, no brood, no eggs. Terrific!

Terrific because I had hives with queens, so I figured I'd tear down that big one and split it between two other hives which had only one deep each.

But then I discovered that one of the three one-deep hives also had no viable queen, although many (five? six?) capped queen cells from one half comb. I cut those out and added that hive to one of the queenright ones.

And that was how, in about 45 minutes, my apiary went from three underperforming hives and two which showed promise, to three that should make a good showing. They should.

I don't know if I'm off the hook for inspections now, and can simply toss supers on top as needed, or if I'm still going to have to make like a bear and burrow through the broodnest every once in a while.

Plus, I'm still trying to coordinate the sale/pick up of that feisty hive at my friend's house. The fun never ever ends.


Kristin said...

45 minutes is not too bad considering what you accomplished. Nice work. You've got a lot of supers on already. Looks like your expecting mega honey! I'll cross my fingers.

Stefaneener said...

Kristin, I was in a big hurry. I hope that one hive isn't as tilted as it looks!

I thought of you as I slapped a deep on as a super because of your comment that you get more honey that way!

kitsapFG said...

Sounds like your consolidation of hives went well. Always learn something reading your posts about bee keeping!

Katie Allison Granju said...

Stefani! Hey howdy. Check your yahoo email address for something I just sent you about a freelance gig.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

We're so far behind on inspections. I'm pretty sure we've had TWO of our splits robbed out in the last week, suggesting the queens failed one way or another. Although we'll still (hopefully) have five other hives, one of which is looking crowded based on entrance activity. Sometimes I wonder, except in the dead of winter, if we're ever off the hook for inspections. Darned bees really know how to keep us hopping! Good luck with your resorted hives!

Stefaneener said...

Katie, back atcha.

CVS, I was afraid of that. I know bees in the wild do it all alone, but then we aren't hoping for surplus to rob. At this point, I'd be happy with happy productive bees. I'm stronger now so hauling around supers is doable. . .