June 2nd update

Finally a stretch of sunny days after prolonged rainy period. Concerned about virgins being able to mate.

Noticed the pink hive (scale hive) was losing weight and dumping drones. Scooped up a bunch of dead bees on the ground in front of the hive–of the 37 dead bees, 36 were drones. They do this when they’re trying to conserve resources. This colony has swarmed 3 x and has now made itself queenless. Added a frame of eggs from the chicken coop colony. Need to check for queen cells.

 

5 frame nuc stack is filled with drone brood–virgin failed (had a lot of rainy weather) didn’t see multiple eggs per cell (except last week found a queen cell with 7 eggs in it). Maybe a drone laying queen or laying workers. Leaving hive to die off (maybe it’ll fill the frames with honey that I can extract?)

Aqua hive-Two queen stack: top colony is queenright all frames are built out so I gave them a super of foundation. There are SO MANY bees (this was the Taranov colony) that the inner cover is completely covered by bees. It’s “boiling over” as they say. Hope they work that super. Bottom colony had been given a frame of eggs last week, no queen cells but I saw eggs, FINALLY! Didn’t spot the queen, will keep an eye out.

Orange hive–they started to draw out the supers! This hive has over 80 pounds of honey in the top deep, saw eggs in the bottom deep last week, couldn’t find her.

Deep colony between orange and purple hive–at first I thought she was not doing well…boy was I wrong, found several frames of solid brood there are 4 unused forms. Will be exploding soon…

The medium orange on top of this deep—all 10 frames are worked and being filled, added super.

Purple hive working the two supers.

Chicken coop colonies: top one has laying queen, working steadily on the frames. Space is adequate. Bottom colony (Taranov parent)–working 2 mediums and all 10 deep frames are in use. The queen is MASSIVE! I’ve never seen such a big queen, she looked like one and half queens…VERY long abdomen.

Queen castle with super: removed the queen excluder from the stronger side. We’ll see if they draw it out even a little.

Cardboard nuc has a queen, all frames are drawn or being worked. No eggs, but the frames looked as if they were preparing for her to lay. Saw the queen, top of her abdomen was larger than the bottom–ovaries developing?

I’m surprised they are putting up as much as they are considering there have been 10 swarms from the 4 colonies (3 swarms each from 2 colonies). As a collective apiary, they are working on 7 supers that were just foundation–I hope these frames are at least drawn out even if they aren’t filled. Drawn comb would be fantastic. Since our nectar flow is so short, getting supers drawn out here is a top priority/struggle every year.

That’s one thing I can say for swarms…even though they drive me mad, they are extremely eager to work that wax! Hopefully their eagerness will be my benefit.

 

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