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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Lots to Report

Date: Saturday, May 24, 2008, Time: 1:30pm
Temperature: Mid 70's, 
Weather: Sunny, slight breeze

We just returned back from checking on the hives. It's the first time looking 'under the hood' since installing the second brood box. My oldest son came with me today. He was just too excited that I didn't have a chance to adjust his helmet, oh well. He looks great anyway!

Genesis - This hive was a true buzz of activity. Just look at the picture. Bees were everywhere, flying to and fro. Plenty of activity and the bees were full of pollen upon their return. Very little, if any syrup has been taken. The bees appear to be well fed elsewhere. They had build out about three frames of the second box and started on several other frames in the second box. The first box was about 70% full. Newly hatched bees had left their abodes and were part of the explosive population growth that appears to have taken place.

The only problem with this hive is the burr comb that the bees had built between the middle frames linking box one and box two. It's a sticky, nasty mess, that when I scrape it off, I kill and anger bees. Here are two pictures of what I'm dealing with. There were plenty of larvae, eggs, and evidence of an otherwise strong hive. Adjusted entrance reducer to larger, 4", setting.

Exodus - On the other hand, and in stark contrast to Genesis, the bees in Exodus were barely visible. There were bees flying in and out of the hive, but none hanging around like on Genesis. I should have snapped a picture so you could see the difference. Similarly, the bees had build out the same amount of comb on the second box, and again, had build a fair bit of burr comb between the first and second box frames. The bees had not taken any syrup. Again, plenty of evidence of eggs, larvae, and recently hatched baby bees. One interesting observation in this hive was the 'sawdust' looking powder on the rear (from the entrance) bottom board. I wonder what that is. Pollen? I'll have to read up on that and inquire with some of my beekeeper friends. Adjusted entrance reducer to larger, 4" setting".

I've said from the start that this hive is radically different from Genesis. The bees build comb different and have a different temperament, yet seem to be at the same place as Genesis, despite their outward behavior. I'm really glad that I went with two hives this year, despite being a little more work, it is beneficial to see the differences in the two.

Lessons Learned: Keep removing burr comb, no matter how much of a task it is.

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