Monday, July 11, 2011

Hot bees!

It's been going up in 110's lately here.  Last night the hived swarm (of N weeks) had tons of bees bearding for the first time ever.  Gobs of bees outside the hive.  No fighting, so I knew it wasn't being robbed.  So this morning, while it was a mere 80 degrees, I went out to see what was going on.  (forgot to paste this paragraph earlier!)

Several of their combs had collapsed.  It was sad.  Empty frames with large combs falling over.  I had a spare deep box ready and ran into the house and found a whole bag of good rubber bands.  First I put the still standing  combs in the spare deep and set it aside.  Then I did what I've read about for cutouts.  I picked up the fallen comb (which is covered in bees of course) and set it gently on a flat surface inside a frame.  Then I wrapped lots of rubber bands on it to hold it in place.  I did this for the 3 fallen combs that were mostly brood.   I put those back in the bottom deep with a bunch of empty frames.  I put the bits of comb that had mostly nectar on top of the inner cover, covered by an empty deep then the outer cover for the bees to regain their nectar.  (Honey is too heavy to hold in with rubber bands, it just squishes and leaks everywhere.

so now they have 2 deeps, perhaps a wee bit prematurely, and an empty deep over the inner cover.  Shouldn't have problems keeping the brood warm, but might have issues keeping them cool.   I can only hope the queen survived the ordeal
Click on the pictures to see them bigger.

Also checked on the big hive that hadn't worked on more than 2 frames in the 3rd deep.  They had some open brood, and I saw an empty queen cell.  They also have several empty frames in the lower deeps.  I'll just watch and wait on that one.  Might feed it later to get some comb drawn, and not pull "honey" from it, of course.

Update: Saturday July 16.  They are doing well, connecting comb, drawing new comb and they have lots of queen cells a few of which are capped.  Guess the old queen didn't make it through the collapse.  
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Saturday, July 09, 2011

Bee check

The hived swarm:  7 frames drawn, full of brood mostly with nectar and pollen around.  Will add second deep when at least 8 frames are full.
First to the west: Only the 2 frames drawn in the upper (3rd) deep..  Should do a more thorough check.
Second to the west: Top deep FULL of bees, all but 2 combs drawn and filling with nectar, only partially capped.
Last to the west (aka Lloyd's hive from last spring)  Top (3rd) deep full of bees, all but a few drawn, some capped brood including drones.  Saw a drone emerge.  (This is good because the observation hive's new queen will need drones out there when she goes on her mating flight.)
East hive: Top deep full of bees, drawn comb nectar, not yet capped.

All that took about 15 minutes.