Saturday, July 21, 2012

Bee Yard Inspection at Prairie Wildlife

Yesterday Mark drove out to Prairie Wildlife in West Point to add honey supers in anticipation of the soybeans blooming. He was upset to find that since his last visit two or three of the hives' lids had been blown off in the recent storms. We have no idea how long the bees had to put up with all of that light, wind, and rain! Not their favorite way to live.

So today, after the rain storm and power outage (!) he loaded the 4-wheeler onto the trailer, put heavier lids in the back of the truck, and we headed out. Thankfully, it was only 75 degrees! Not that it lasted . . .

We looked through all of the hives except the "tower of power" on the end. For the most part, they're doing well, though growing more slowly than we anticipated. Most are not generating excess honey stores yet.

We found one hive that was queenless but loaded with honey and pollen. We combined it with one of the hives that had been exposed to the elements, but still had a healthy queen. We hope they'll join forces and create a strong, healthy colony.

It was nice to be out with Mark, working the bees together. I've missed it.

Photo highlights:

It wasn't smoky . . . my lens fogged up when I got out of the truck. ;-)
All of the hives, before we inspected.

Snack time!

If you can't see the queen here, folks, I can't help you.
These bees are making use of every cell -- pollen is interspersed with uncapped and capped brood.

Pretty, fresh brood comb. Well done, Queenie!

Newspaper combining a healthy colony with a queenless colony.

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