Hive Inspection: October 15, 2011

Last visit this year? I sure hope not, but I think it’s probably either the last or second to last. Strike that–it is at least only the second to last. I still have two supers I need to pull before it gets too cold and, sadly, mite stripes need to go in.

But first…

  • Slightly cloudy
  • Warm–60s
  • No wind, calm
  • I saw lots of pollen stores, but didn’t really notice anything coming in
  • Brood count is way down, which is right.
  • I found the queen in hive 1. She looks good and happy.
  • Hive 1 was a little on the angry side of things. Hive 2 was as docile as a kitten.
  • I went all the way to the bottom of both hives. Hive 1 has a VERY heavy honey super. Hive 2 is slightly lighter.
  • The population in both hives is still quite large. I have high hopes of doing splits out of both this coming spring to get four hives.
  • Mites… 😦 I did a small inspection in hive 1; didn’t see that many. I did a more thorough inspection in hive 2; lots. I even found four or five adult bees with mites. I’m going to treat this year, which I was hoping to avoid.

I didn’t get any pictures this time because I was alone, but I did have a rather neat experience at hive 2. While I was doing a mite count, I found a bee emerging from its cell. I decided, because I had the time, to sit back and watch. Fascinating. It had its mouth parts fully extended, which was fun to see. Good length on that tongue. While I watched, I counted the mites I could see… Like I said, four or five on the adults and I even counted several on some of the larvae.

Let’s see…. They are finally starting to pull the honey out of the medium supers and move it down. Like I said, hive 1 was stuffed with honey, but hive 2 was a bit lighter. I’m going to have to check on them throughout the winter to make sure they are doing well for food.

Next time: Mite strips going in (DIE MITES DIE!!!), and I’ll pull the mediums empty or not. Okay, I’ll leave them on if the weather is forecast to hold longer, otherwise….

Oh, and probably some photos.

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