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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Week 3.5 - Fourth Hive Check

Today I got to visit the hives for the fourth time.

Temperature: Mid 60's
Weather: Sunny, slight wind
Time: 5:30pm

#1 - 'Genesis' - Some minor activity outside the hive . Bees returning to hive with full pollen sacks. No Activity on frames 1,2, 9, 10. Minor activity on frames 3, 7. Capped brood, pollen, and honey on 4,5,6. Frames continue getting heavier. Continued nice larvae and egg development. Did not see the queen (is she really there?). Feeder has not been being fed on. Added one gallon of syrup. Added second brood chamber.

#2 - 'Exodus' - Half the activity of hive # 1 outside upon arrival. After working with 'Genesis' I noticed no activity on the outside of this hive and had a slight moment of panic (CCD?), then realized it was getting late in the day. As compared to 'Genesis' this hive has considerably less activity inside hive. Not so much in numbers, but overall. Bees also seem a little smaller than other hive. After several trips to the hive, I am now convinced of this. No more droppings on hive enterance or on top of frames. Still no activity on frames 1,2, 9,10. Lots of burr comb throughout hive, especially leading up to feeder from top frames, what a mess. Emptied feeder, scraped burr comb out, and added fresh gallon of syrup. Feeder has not been being fed on. Comb being drawn out nicely on 4,5,6. Capping of honey on top and outside edges of hive. Several flying in my face to investigate me, similar to last week. Seemed slightly more aggressive than #1. Added second brood chamber.

I believe that this hive is suffering from something. Either it's due to me originally installing 9 frames or something biological. These bees just seem slower, smaller, more aggressive, and slower builders, except for burr comb.

I did manage to get my smoker going much better with a little newspaper, smaller twigs, and a little patience.

Lessons Learned:
Don't visit the hives late in the day.

1 comment:

And then there were Five said...

hey- i am loving the blog- it is great to read about how things are progressing! I am also loving reading the dummies guide to bees- great choice of hobbies dear!!