Hive Inspection- 9/9/2012

Melissa:

Finally I can say this hive looks really good:  combs are filling up, the top deep had eggs, brood, pollen and sugar syrup/honey. I found a queen cup with an egg and a queen cell with larva (ack!). The bottom deep had lots of brood, frames and frames full of eggs, open and capped brood. There are still some unworked foundation frames, if they don’t draw them out, I have to think what to do with them. If I go in this weekend, I may move them to the middle.

See the eggs? Click for a larger image.
Capped brood and a queen cell with larva and royal jelly on the bottom of the frame, a queen cup with an egg toward the top (left side of picture).
Queen Vivienne, my VSH queen. I wonder if she’ll survive once the queen cell is capped? I’ve read the workers will keep the current queen from killing the cell if they want to replace her. Oh well, I guess I’ve done enough damage trying to save her multiple times.

I’m wondering if the queen cell is left over from the ones I saw when there were 2 queens?

After seeing the hornets flying around Melissa and witnessing the hornets moving so nicely through the smallest opening of the entrance reducer in the dead nuc, we added hardware cloth to the hive entrances to keep the hornets out. The bees adjusted very nicely.

Demeter:

All is can say is, oh my goodness. This hive is unreal. A while back I reversed the deeps moving the empty one above the bottom deep. These girls really don’t like me messing in the brood chamber. I couldn’t get down to the bottom deep this time (again!)  because hornets were around and the girls were not happy. But that previously empty deep was now being filled up with pollen and honey thank goodness. They have that super full of honey, I’ve been researching ways to move that honey down. I’ve read that you can turn the frames upside down. But how on earth do you keep them from falling out as you turn it over? I guess you could set an inner cover over the top, turn it over (like flipping a cake layer) so that the top of the frames are sitting on the inner cover. But I’ve read that doesn’t work very well to get them to move it out.

The other option I’ve read is to set a super right over the inner cover and the bees will treat the super as if it’s outside the hive. I tried this last summer and it did NOT work.

BUT I did like this idea and think it may actually work: use an empty super underneath the full one. I would set it up like this: first the telescoping outer cover, then solid inner cover, then the honey super with scored cells, another solid inner cover, empty super, then the 2 deeps. I may try it this weekend instead of feeding them. Whatever is left, I’ll harvest for us.

While looking at Demeter, a hornet came by and as I was screaming it went right down in between the frames. It came back up and I flailed at it wildly using my hive tool and PRAYING I would kill it, otherwise I was going to have one seriously mad hornet coming after me…I WHACKED it hard and I saw it fly off but it looked different. It landed a few feet away and when I went to look at it, it was dragging its abdomen, got it caught on some grass and it separated completely. Ew. It was crawling around cut in half. But it would not make it back to bother my hives so I was happy.

The hornet, split in two.

Today, I just refilled Melissa’s sugar syrup, two quarts emptied in 3 days. And then this smell wafted up, and it was GROSS. And it hit me…goldenrod nectar. I’ve read that it smells but wow, it really smells. The honey should be good however, go figure.

I set out the hornet traps again and within a few minutes of my checking it just to enjoy the sight of all those dead hornets, I went back and there was a new one in there! I may use apple cider from now on. For those folks coming to my site because of the hornets, here is a picture and video reposted:

Yellow jackets and European hornets caught using a homemade trap.

Click here: Hornet Video

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