Yeah… I know this is really late…. And I don’t even have pictures. Sorry.
Mackay and I finally got back into the three new hives AND looked at the split hives. Pretty good results.
Admin note: Have I introduced Mackay yet? Mackay is a good friend of mine who became interested in beekeeping last year. He comes over every time I go to the hives and has become quite the reliable assistant. He’s pretty much just as qualified as I am now. About my only complaint with Mackay is that while I get stung (13 times so far), Mackay does not. Strange as it may be, one of my goals is to see him stung this summer if only because I’m tired of being the only one! 🙂
I didn’t see the queen, but there are plenty of eggs and larvae. All looks to be going well. I added a super to the top because they had drawn out 6 of the 10 frames. Why wait?
This is the queenless half of the split. First off, there was not an empty cell in the hive. Not one. Every cell was full of soon to hatch brood, pollen, or nectar. Every single cell.
I obviously should have supered, and now I get to worry about a swarming. 😦 If there is one bit of good news, it is that we did add a super and all the brood is going to hatch pretty soon. Hopefully that will leave plenty of room for the new queen to start laying eggs.
We counted 11 queen cells including two that looked like they had hatched. I can’t imagine they actually did, however, because that was only day 14. This hive has traditionally been very aggressive at removing bad brood, and I’m going with that for now. The other 9 queen cells were all on one frame; hopefully something good comes of that.
I’m planning on going back in to this hive this Saturday to check on them and see if we’ve got a queen.
We found the queen in this hive, and she’s gorgeously black. I’m getting better at spotting them, which is fortunate since none of my new queens are marked. Lots of brood, solid stores. We added a super.
Plenty of bees in Hive 4, but we still don’t see a lot of activity outside the hive. I guess I’m not really concerned, just aware. We did find the queen, and she’s still doing as well as she always has. I rather like this queen, and I’m interested to see how her daughter in Hive 2 performs as a queen. It’s a line I’d like to see continue if push comes to shove.
This hive was already supered from the split, which I shouldn’t have done most likely, but they are doing well enough.
Pretty much the exact same thing as Hive 3. We found the queen again and threw on a second brood box.
Overall, I’m pleased with how this season is progressing. I wish I had a bit more room horizontally in my beeyard. The hives are all maybe three or four inches apart from each other which works right now because they are all different heights in relation to their neighbors. I don’t know how well it will work when they are all the same height. I might have to look into migratory covers.
I do think we’ll get an early harvest out of Hive 2. They were soooo heavy with nectar, and are just bursting at the seams. I’m thinking no later than mid-June, which would be awesome. Even better, that’ll be early enough that we’ll get a second harvest out of that hive come fall.
I also think we’ll get a large harvest from Hive 4. 1, 3, and 5 should be the normal first year harvest.
On Saturday, we went out to my dad’s hives again (Mackay had never seen them, and we were in the area rock hounding, so…). I do have pictures from that one, so I’ll write that up when I have Courtney’s camera on me.