Hive report: 28 May 2016

I woke up to pleasant, sunny weather this morning–so I made a beeline (sorry, but I just had to put that in) for the hives.

I was feeling really pressured to inspect Salvia (the hive on the left) to see if I needed to add another honey “super”–another box with frames and foundation. My inspection was abbreviated as soon as I got the inner cover off and pulled out one of the side frames. Bees don’t really “like” to work the side frames in a box, so those are often empty or light. This one wasn’t it was a good three pounds with both sides drawn into comb and being filled with honey and pollen.Looking between the other 7 frames it was obvious that the girls had been very busy. I needed to make a trip to Bailey Bee Supply on a pretty urgent basis–this colony was started from the swarm from Rosemary. Since this was a long holiday weekend, and the weather is a bit uncertain with a tropical depression heading out way and I certainly didn’t want these girls to decide that the hive wasn’t big enough and decide to go live somewhere else. I closed the hive back up, leaving the feeder (which was 20160528_163841_001empty) off and moved on to check out Rosemary.

Rosemary (on the left) hive was inspected much more recently, so I just removed the top honey super on top–all 40 pounds of it–and pulled some of the frames in the super that is for comb honey. It looks as if the colony size is increasing now that the queen is laying. The bees have started drawing comb and storing honey on the center frames of that box now the queen excluder (which was almost entirely closed off with propolis) has been removed and the colony is growing rapidly. I closed that hive quickly so that I could make it to the bee store before they closed at 2 p.m.

After my dash to Hillsborough, I came back and gave the girls in Salvia some more room to stash honey on nice tidy frames instead of building extra comb on the base of the feeder–I think they were definitely feeling crowded.

Normally I’d give them more room when they had used 5 or 6 of the 8 frames in the box, but these girls had been so industrious that they were already close to filling all 8 of the frames. Looking in the hive today made me realize how fast they can fill a super with honey. I was a little late adding the super–I’m just glad I wasn’t too late.