Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Expansion as Bee Population Explodes

Hive 6 with its newly added, painted deep super.
On Friday, Mark decided to check the bees without me.
Hive 1 -- see how many bees were in the air?

After the chaotic addition of supers due to the population explosion and discovery of brood built between the boxes, he called me.  I rushed home from work, took notes on the three remaining hives, and snapped pictures. 
Brood built in the wrong place = dead baby bees. Gross.

In short, he added a deep and medium super to hives 1, 5, & 6.  Moved a feeder from 5 to 2.  We'll add deeps to the others this week. 

Empty brace comb = wasted effort for the bees, more wax for candles.

Empty supercedure cell = possibility they requeened themselves.

Hive 5 needs re-leveling after the flood!

Three expanded hives, with some lost bees on the back of Hive 1.
When we checked the hives Saturday, the difference in temperament was amazing: the formerly aggressive hives had settled noticeably and were making use of their new space. What's fascinating is that in some hives, they haven't filled all of the frames with wax/comb, yet they'll build brace comb on the tops and bottoms of frames where they congregate.  Mark said, "I'm sure glad I have those back saver bee stands," as working in those conditions without any help was a bit of a challenge. Maybe next time he'll wait for me!

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