BeeKeeping

Reconfigured all three hives

Hive 3 (out front): Added a honey super. This was the hive I added one to some weeks ago and then took it off as it wasn't ready. Today it's ready. Also pulled some frames and saw a nice brood pattern.

Hive 4: Added a second deep to it. The first deep is filled out nicely with brood and honey. Not all the way to the edges as the end frames aren't drawn, but there is enough congestion to merit it.

Mid-season hive update

Hive 3 (C) - This is a strong hive out in front of the house. I put a super on it the other day in preparation for the nectar flow but then realized that I hadn't really checked to see how full the supers were. Today I saw lots of healthy capped brood in the brood chamber and some frames of sugar water stored in the upper super but that's it. I removed the empty super. Hive looks very healthy.

Added two frames of brood to Hive F (6)

Added two very heavy frames of Italian bees and brood to the weak hive split that I requeened a week ago today. On inspection today I see lots of capped brood. This tells me there was already a queen in the hive when I requeened. I was afraid that might happen as they had time to raise one naturally. So long as it stays queened, I'll be happy. It will either be an Italian that they raised or the Carnolian I introduced. I paid $50 for the bees to Jeffrey Rupert in Bremerton. 

Today I also supered up the very active Hive 3 (C) out front.

Found a queen been outside of the hive ...

Today I found a queen bee outside of my hive. This is a hive that was installed 24 days ago from a package (Carnolians). The queen bee was on the front of the boardman feeder that is attached to the front of the hive. There was one attendant bee with her. 

I've never seen anything like this before, so I didn't know what to make of it. My assumption is that she had to come from the weaker hive that was the result of a hive split two weeks ago. That hive sits only three feet away. During a hive inspection of that hive two days ago, I couldn't find the queen. 

Weird swarm from one half of a hive to the other

Today I noticed a 'swarm' of several hundred bees over the weakest half of my walk-away hive split, the hive out front of the house. That hive has really been struggling lately. This is the hive that has the original queen, as I put the new queen in the existing location when doing the split. This little 'swarm' gradually made its way about 150 feet over to the other half of the hive split, the one with the new queen. Once there, it descended on the hive and the bees made their way inside. 

One hive split failure

Two weeks ago, I split a weak hive. I knew it was probably too weak to split and I also knew I couldn't separate them more than 150 feet or so but I did it anyway - more to see what happened. Well, one side of the split is doing well (the one with the 'new' queen) and the other side is rapidly failing. I checked today because yesterday, I observed a mini swarm of bees going from the failing half of the split to the stronger half of the split. It looked JUST like a swarm, but was much smaller as it was just a couple hundred bees.

Split hive

Today I split my hive that made it through winter (Italians). Not sure how successful this will be as 1) it's a weak hive and 2) I'm only separating them by 150 feet or so. I split the brood and bees in half and left the half with the new queen in the original location (to catch any returning foragers) and I moved the hive with the existing queen and her brood to the front of the house. We shall see.

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