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Monday, August 14, 2006

My Inspection is comming up!

My anual beehive inspection has now been scheduled for tommarow. Yesterday I checked on all the hives just to make sure they were all ready. I wonder what the inspector's reaction to the TBH will be...


Italian hive:

I think they may have swarmed. There are many fewer bees than I remember. Granted, we're into August and as teh sunlight deminishes by around 1 minute each day the queen will lay fewer eggs. They're storing up plenty of pollen and honey with the two outermost frames on each side being completely filled with pollen and honey; with the exception of a small 3x3 area of brood. Oh yeah, the weekend of the 5th and 6th I harvested honey from this hive. I did take photos but, I'll try to upload them later this week. It's lighter than the honey I got in February but, also quite a bit darker than the honey last October. There were a few frames of cabbage palm honey and, right now, that's about all that's in the hives. The bad part about that is that the bees often have a hard time getting the moisture level below 21% so, it has a tendancy to ferment. Sometimes it even ferments in the comb! It's a honey that is best when blended with other honeys.

Captured hive:

When I had first put this hive together I used a DEEP nuc body with MEDIUM frames. I'm hoping to get a deep brood chamber later but, those medium frames are becoming an issue. It is very difficult to move the frames around when there are peices of comb sticking together. I removed what I could for the upcomming inspection but, I'll have to add another deep nuc box just to keep them from swarming. At all times the front is usually covered in a three inch layer of bees spanning top to bottom and side to side. If I don't give them more space they'll surely swarm.

Russian hive:

I replaced another bad comb and looked through the hive body. Those are, without a doubt, my worst frames. They're poorly drawn with comb running PERPENDICULAR to the frames and also being incompletely drawn. Some patches of the comb are extremely deep spanning over and inch and a half. I had to trim this and, just based on how runny the honey was, I'd say it was completely cabbage palm. I was planning on requeening this hive but, as they year goes on I may have to just order a queen out of hawaii come January.

Package hive:

These bees are comming along right on schedule. They have about 7 frames drawn out with a good distribution of honey, pollen and brood. They have a good brood cluster. It's not the best I've seen but, It is still good. They have around 4 frames filled 75% or more with brood. I won't get any honey from them this year but things are looking good for next.

KTBH:

These bees are doing just fine and are now to bar 16. Just check out how large the cluster is...

I've established that they seem to be reserving the bars after bar 13 for their honey storage area. Bar 13 itself seems to be a transition comb with mostly honey but, some drone brood aswll.
Here's a photo of bar 13:
And here's the 14th bar. Notice that is is nothing but honey storage.

Compare this comb closer to the center of the broodnest to the photo. This comb is completely made up of worker cells and you can see the definite "layers" of honey storage and brood. I wonder how many weird looks the inspecter will give me about this hive...