Saturday, May 23, 2009

Hive Inspection

Yesterday was a beautiful, warm, sunny day....a perfect day to work the bees. In the late afternoon, I suited up, put fuel in the smoker and set off to inspect my 5 older hives. Opening the lids and removing the top boards I was happy to see my colonies hard at work packing the frames with honey. I had placed honey supers on top of my hives about a week and a half ago. Four out of my five hives has a substantial amount of honey in the middle frames of that first super; and the bees are busily drawing honeycomb out onto the outer frames. I will inspect the hives again next week. When they have begun to start to fill those outer frames with honey, I will add another super. It is rumored that this year should be a great year for honey due to the prolific flowering of the locust trees in our nearby forests.The black frames in this picture have honey comb that is filled with un-capped honey. You can also see on the white frame at the bottom....that these bees are busy making the honey comb that will eventually be filled with honey.




I also spent a little time making final preparation for today's arrival of my 5 nucs. I removed the top hive body and removed 5 frames from the lower body. Each nuc will come with 5 frames of brood and honey...and these frames will be placed in the box. Once the remaining frames in the box have drawn honeycomb and the beginning of brood and honey on them, I will add another hive body. When that body is filled, I will start to add honey supers to the top.




Here you can see the wooden entrance reducer in place. This will make a smaller front door for the bees to guard....thus allowing more bees the ability to do other necessary jobs.
This picture shows the lower hive body with five frames removed. Each nuc comes with 5 frames that will be slipped in place. Notice the screened bottom board. The purpose of this is to reduce the amount of varoa mites in the hive. Varoa mites are a small parasite (visible to the naked eye) that attack both bees and their brood. A severe infestation can lead to a collapse of the bee colony. As the mites drop from the bees, they fall through the screen and out of the hive. A screened bottom board also allows for better ventilation in the summer months. For winter, a corrugated plastic bottom is slid into place for warmth and protection from drafts.

3 comments:

  1. THAT IS REALLY NEAT! You have a nice set up of hives.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can see there is a definite art to beekeeping. It's interesting to read about.

    Steph

    ReplyDelete
  3. Quote from the Kevin Costner movie about the farmer who bulids a Baseball field out on his property,,,,
    "Build it and they will come"
    >^..^<

    ReplyDelete

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