Monday, July 4, 2011

Hive Check: Week 6

When bricklaying proved to be hard on his back later in life, Mr. Churchill took up beekeeping.

V for Victory!

I am pleased to report that the supersedure in Hive #1 was a success. The new queen is mated and laying down a solid brood pattern. Her name is Esmeralda, at least for now. She’s only been laying for a couple of days, but there was a frame and a half of new eggs and young larvae. Beautiful!

In the popular vernacular: "Dat ass!"

Hopefully, the influx of queen and brood pheromones will kickstart the hive back into productivity. As I mentioned in a previous inspection report, the bees have been stalled in terms of comb drawing activity. Flipping through the hive I saw that they were beginning to draw out the outer frames. They’re up to working 7 frames, and if they continue to draw out comb they’ll be ready for a second hive body by Week 7.

Hive #2 is also starting to build comb again, but not very nicely. While they are (slowly) working the outer frames, they remain behind Hive #1 and have only drawn 6 frames so far. They have, however, continued to use the extra space in the bottom of the feeder to build their own unguided comb. It’s annoying, but there isn’t much to be done about it. It’s a flaw in the design of the feeder itself; rather than a small channel allowing access to the feed, it has a wide groove that is more than large enough to contain a large amount of brace comb.


Every time I remove this comb, the bees just rebuild it rather than working the frames I want them to. In the future, I’ll be removing any comb connected to the frames below the feeder, but leaving the comb inside the feeder itself. Hopefully, once they fill that null space, they will get on to more constructive work.

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