This turned out to be a very quick peek into Hive A–the heat got to me. I’m such a wuss when it comes to heat and humidity. I’ve been trying so hard not to degenerate into complaining (no, actually make that bitching) about the weather but I give up. When I went out to do this inspection the local weather conditions were reported as 90°F with a heat index of 102 °F: however, my thermometer read 94.9°F. Inside my bee jacket (the common white one)–well, I don’t even want to think about that. (More about the cool blue one later).
What I found when I opened the hive was brood all over the place–yes, I forgot to put on the queen excluder–so now I have brood right up to the topmost medium super. Some of the foundationless frames that I had inserted are being drawn nicely though.
One frame on plasticell foundation had been drawn into space where the foundationless one was–the girls seemed to be ignoring that one so I had very deep comb on one side. You can see how I disrupted a lot of the comb, so I just pulled that frame out for harvest. I replaced it with an undrawn frame . This one is going to get harvested in some variation of crush/strain method and I’ll hope that some of the foundationless ones can be harvested for cut comb.
Unfortunately, the heat got to me in a big way so I couldn’t stay out long enough to do a full, meticulous find-the-queen inspection–at least I know the queen is doing well. I need to make some sort of plan to deal with what these girls are doing–probably going back in and consolidating brood, and putting on a queen excluder would be a good start. But to do that I have to find the queen and that’s not easy because the hive population is SO heavy. At least I know that the girls do have space to store more honey, but…
But I need to see what’s in the “brood box”–though the girls and I don’t seem to agree on where that right now. I also need to inspect the other three hives–but not today. My thermometer is now reading 95.8°F and I’m totally wilted. (Yes, I did start hydrating a couple hours before I got into the bee jacket, but that wasn’t enough. More water, sooner next time–and start earlier.
I guess maybe the girls will get me appropriately trained sooner or later, maybe….