BeeKeeping

Varroa mites in Hive A

After noticing how weak Hive A was this morning, I went out and did a closer inspection by pulling out the plywood beneath the screened bottom board. I have a Varroa mite problem. More accurately, I have a BIG Varroa mite problem. The bottom board had quite a number of live and dead mites all over it. How could this be on a hive that's only three weeks old? I posed that question to Stedman's Bees in Silverdale, and was told the mites may have overwintered in the foundation that I used to start this year's hive.

Week 3 Hive Inspection - One hive far stronger than the other

I did my week three hive inspection today. It was cloudy and cold, but I had no other choice. The bees in Hive B made it very clear that they did not welcome my presence. Because of that, I did not spend time looking for the queen (in either hive). I saw lots of capped brood, larvae and eggs in Hive B. There was significant burr comb built up beneath the hive top feeder. I removed it. Not as many dead bees in the feeder as I had anticipated (in either hive). All but one frame is fully drawn. I added a second deep super and left the hive top feeder in place. I will fill it tomorrow.

Hive inspection - Hive B is flourishing!

In today's hive inspection, Hive B was very strong. It didn't take long to find the queen. I saw LOTS of capped brood on a number of heavy frames. The brood pattern was typical, some missed cells along the way, but the entire frames were filled except the top and edges, which were being capped as honey. I was very impressed. I saw lots of larvae. The hive was very active - not agressive, but they did let me know they knew I was there.

Added syrup to Hive A

Hive A got syrup when they were installed on April 22. I opened the top of the hive to refill the hive top feeder today, and to clean out a lot of dead bees. Curiously. several dozen bees were clustered beneath the inner cover, clinging to the bottom corner of it. I shook them off on the ground in front of the hive. I saw this same behavior two days ago when I did the main hive inspection. Both hives appear to be very active. Today was sunny with occasional showers.

First hive inspection

At first, I saw no evidence of eggs in either hive. Called Stedman's and was told to look again. Sheyanne said it can be very hard to spot eggs in old comb. I looked again ... I did finally spot some eggs, but not many. I couldn't find a dozen on one frame, but I was in a hurry to get the frames back in. Did not spot queen in either hive but again, I had the hives open twice in one day and was in a hurry to get them closed. Bees in Hive A were pretty much okay with me, but bees in Hive B were very very agitated.

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