Friday, December 26, 2014

Bee Check

It was a sunny and beautiful day today so I took the opportunity to do a quick check of my beehives.  I plan to do this around Christmas each year, if weather permits.  It can be very cold (below freezing) and still be ok to open the top briefly and look in, to see if the cluster of bees is at the top of the hive, meaning they have eaten through the honey stores they could reach and need supplemental food.

I am pleased with what I found.  I knew all the hives were likely still alive because I saw activity at each hive on warm days.  So what did I find in each hive?  

Hive A) Large cluster of bees in the top box of hive.  Will add a sugar brick tomorrow for supplemental feed.

Hive B) Cluster in the second box, full box and a half of honey above them.  No need for supplemental feed.

Hive C) Large cluster in the top box.  I have an extra box of honey from home hive I will put on top of this hive.  Mold on the inner cover.  I'll replace this with a fresh inner cover so I can wash off the mold.  I'm not worried about it...pretty sure it is from before I propped open the outer cover for extra ventilation since I noticed mold then.  The hives are shaded much of the day and mold can be a problem without adequate ventilation.  

Split) Assuming they are in the bottom or second box, since they shot out the front of the hive as soon as I took off this cover.  This hive has an attitude.  I closed them back up and wished them the best.  Will consider re-queening next year and need to do some research on "testy" hives since I haven't had one until now.  Whenever I opened this hive earlier in the year it seemed to piss them off, or at least make them grumpy and necessary to smoke them pretty good.

Home Hive) Cluster in the second box, with a box and a half of honey overhead.  I'll remove the top box that has about 6 or 7 full frames of honey in it to feed to hive C.  No mold as this hive gets great sun.  

Garden Dreams Hives
Bee drinking water from a cork raft
Sunny and 45 degrees - bees were flying.

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