This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

What's up with my hive?

I was asked these questions by a few people of late:
  • If you don't see eggs or young larvae your bees probably have swarmed. Putting a frame of eggs in the colony should tell all. If queen cells are drawn out on the frame we could assume the hive is queenless. If no cells develop, the conclusion could be the queen is in there and not laying yet.
  • During the nectar flow if there is still a 3rd deep to draw out, the bees will fill the deep with nectar. If you looked at the frames, there is very little brood and mostly nectar. In this case the drawn frames can be put on the outside of the top box. Any foundation on the outside can be brought in towards the center. This box will be the winter stores for the colony. It would not be a good idea to reverse this box.
  • If drawing out foundation in the supers, they should be placed above the brood box. When they are filling up, add new super below them and move the now drawn supers up.
  • It is important to stay ahead of the bees. Put two supers on at a time. Add more before the supers are full. It is better to pull off empty supers than if they are all full. If all of them are full, there was probably more honey that was available for the bees to collect.