So how many things can go wrong or be just plain bizarre in one week? After posting about my trip to Jim’s and getting the screens, we did a hive inspection. Remember I suspected Melissa was being robbed? Want to know what we found??? The entire bottom deep on Melissa empty. EMPTY. No brood, no stores, the cappings very obviously torn off and the bees had essentially abandoned the bottom deep. Incredible. So they were being robbed. I don’t think it’s happening any more, I believe closing them up for a couple of days did the trick. However, they did expand upstairs. Mightily. There seemed to be brood everywhere.
Initially my plan was to leave the screens in place for both hives just in case it was another colony that was attacking both of my hives. After the inspection it was pretty clear that Demeter was fine. Plus the traffic and backup was incredible on Demeter! So I took the screen off completely but left it on Melissa with the robbing entrance open. I checked on them Monday (it was cool and rainy initially changing to sunny by the PM), it looked okay just a mild pile-up as they figured things out:
I checked on them Tuesday….Oh MY LORD. It was a sunny day and the drones were out. Apparently they are so helpless that they can’t find their way back in. Check it out.
This is after I took off the screen, within a couple of minutes, the drones went into the hive:
So yesterday I took the screens off completely, and thanks to the challenged drones, I’ve decided to put on the entrance reducers again. Goodness, I feel like I have to change my strategy every day. Oh wait, I DO have to change my strategy every day.
Just to try to keep things even-Steven, I’m debating equalizing the hives: taking some stores and brood out of Demeter and giving it to Melissa. Essentially knock Demeter down a notch. I’m still thinking.