Hive Inspection, August 16, 2014

So I ended up not harvesting today. Could have, but there’s enough going on right now, that I decided to wait a week or two.

Top Bar

So there’s new brood and a queen again. I looked at Shiloh when we found her and the eggs and said, “I hate this hive.” And I do. 🙂

It’s still a dead hive come winter. There is almost no storage, very few bees, and no real brood. If push comes to shove, I may try to combine this hive with Hive 3 to bolster that hive, but we’ll see.

Hive 1

Wow. They are working quite happily on the second medium of honey, and my guess is they’ll get it given how big and full they are. The hive is huge, thick with brood, and happy. I love this hive.

Hive 2

Doing okay. They are working on their first honey super, and if we harvest later, we’ll probably get it full. I will probably pull a few frames and leave this one be, though.

Hive 3

Remember how I said that Hive 3 was always my weird hive? Well, we pulled open this hive, and not only is the egg-laying worker still at it, but we spotted TWO queens on a single frame! Obviously just hatched, and I debated watching them to see the inevitable queen fight, but I also worried about leaving them too exposed. The hive is quiet strong, though I’m worried about what happened to the old queen. Do they have time to recover and get back up to winter strength? Probably, but….

Given the egg layer, drones, and the coming break in the brood cycle, I’m not planning on harvesting from this hive.

On other news, I think we’ve figured out how to transport and set the bees up when we move. I wouldn’t have a problem losing any of the hives except for Hive 1. That genetic line is something special, and I’ve had it since the very beginning. The queens out of that hive are always super strong, and the hives always do quite well. I’ve had trouble splitting off that hive, but I manage to keep a good queen in it each year.

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4 Responses to Hive Inspection, August 16, 2014

  1. Emmerin says:

    Dude, this is when you need a little tiny camera that you could put inside to watch the queen fight.

  2. Emily Scott says:

    Would you recognise the old queen in hive 3 if you saw her? Just wondering if there could be a mother/daughter combo in there and a case of supersedure.

    • daveloveless says:

      I wouldn’t. I really wish I had waited though and watched the battle. I can’t name a single beekeeper who has ever seen a queen battle!

      If I had had a cage, I would have captured one and released her into the top bar. The queen in the top bar is a poor queen, and even though there is barely any time left, I would have loved to see if she could have done something with it.

      • Emily Scott says:

        If it is a mother and daughter, there may not have been a battle yet – they will sometimes carry on laying side-by-side for a short while. I would like to see a battle too, but would be very nervous that they’d both end up killing each other!

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