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Monday, September 05, 2005

A Super Super

(For any of you who don't know this, a super is a box that a beekeeper puts on a hive to store honey or expand the brood nest.)

I've been off at the beach for memorial day weekend and inspected my bees yesterday but, I couldn't get onto the internet untill today. Unfortunettly, I didn't take any pictures but it was probably the best inspection I've ever carried out.
Yesterday was sunny, not a cloud in the sky, and it had been two weeks since I opened the hive, so I decided to try for an inspection. I lit the smoker and did everything as usuall. I used my hivetool to crack open one side of the cover to blow some smoke in, then, I lifted the cover thinking it would come off as usuall. I strained as hard as I could and the entire hive came up. It had to of weighed over 60 pounds! Anyways, I used my hive tool and scraped enough propolis off to pull off the cover. I was half expecting that the bees hadn't done anything with the super I put on then a few weeks ago. I was wrong, and noticed that the second I took off the cover. There were actually hundreds of bees in that super, unlike the usuall one or two dozen.
I pulled up the first frame and it wasn't drawn at all. Then, the second and it was about half drawn and so was every frame after that. Once the cells were drawn ,however, instead of being filled with brood like I thought they would they were filled with ripening nectar. I think this is a sure sign that the bees have changed their focus from horrezontal brood nest expansion to vertical honey storage.
After I was done with the super I had to lift it off to check on the brood chamber...easier said than done. Again, it was so propolized that I had to strain to pry the boxes apart. I lifted it up and it had to weigh at least 15 pounds. Not very heavy but, it's a start. I carved away the propolis and smoked the bees off of the ears of the frames. Lifted one up and it was picture perfect. There was about 1/3 of the frame at the top filled with capped honey, of which I sampled a few drops. There was also a solid brood nest core. I did some scraping of comb at the bottom of the frames and did another brood cut. No a single varroa and I didn't find any sacbrood. I saw plenty of eggs and young larvae so after checking four frames I figured I wouldn't disturb them anymore.

Again, this probably was the best inspection I've had in a long time. Not a single sting and none have gotten into my veil, yet. There wern't even any bees clinging onto my veil. There are usually about a dozen or so. This has again been a demonstration of how bees can change their moods by the weather.


Blogger G4st said...

That honey will be well deserved.
P.S, I am starting guitar again if you are interested.
Thursday late evenings.

3:31 PM, September 05, 2005  
Blogger The Beekeeper said...

Sorry, my Beekeepers' Assosiation meetings are on thursdays; 6:00-7:30

4:33 PM, September 05, 2005  
Blogger G4st said...

No worries, keep jammin' the Bee blues.

10:27 PM, September 05, 2005  
Blogger j00|{z said...

3 supers is a super-duper.

6:43 PM, September 07, 2005  

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