Thursday, August 13, 2009

Entrance Reduction

Inspecting the hive entrance this morning, I noticed a wasp managed to enter the hive. After work, I checked the hive entrance again. There were more activity that in the morning. Several yellow jackets tried to enter, but this time, the guard bees were well awake.
This problem has been reported by other beekeepers during Tuesday's meeting.
Because the activity is much lower now, I decided to reduce the entrance by half, to help the guard bees do their job against wasps & yellow jackets.

There is still pollen coming in, I saw some yellow, orange and grey.

All the drones are gone. The colony appears to be preparing for the winter. With 3 full medium bodies, the colony succeeded in building enough stores.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday August 4th 2009 inspection

I inspected the hive again today, coming back from weekend, just before leaving again for a full week. I wanted to verify if the colony swarmed. As expected, no swarm cell visible.
While removing the upper body (REALLY heavy), I removed a few brace combs filled with honey, and we got to taste the honey for the first time: delicious! The whole family liked it.
I removed frame 1 and 10 of the 3rd body, and placed them in position 4 and 6 of 4th body, to incitate the bees to start building into the 4th body. These two frames were partially build (~75%), with honey and pollen, no brood.
The bees were noticeably more aggressive that previous inspection, probably because some honey was spilled while cutting combs.
Not a single drone visible. They all have been evicted, the colony is preparing for the Winter. With 3 bodies, there won't be a big harvest this year, maybe a few frames only.

Thursday July 30th 2009 inspection

I inspected the hive just before leaving for a 4-day weekend. The hive has low activity, and I don't see any drones anymore. The top body is very heavy, I could barely lift it. The second body is somewhat heavy, while the third is lighter. All three bodies are almost filled with combs, the third has still some room in the first and last frames. All the bodies are heavily cross-combed. I expected to see some comb building in the fourth body, but they are not there yet.
I am worried about the very low activity in the front of the hive. A few dozen bees are flying, a few others are staying in the landing board. I used to see hundred of bees at the entrance.
I did not check the bottom of the frames before closing the hives, so I can't tell if they swarmed, but the weight of the hive bodies tell me they didn't.