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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Installation of Screened Bottom Boards

Temperature:  Mid 80's
Weather: Sunny, Slight Wind
Time:  2:00pm

Today was the first day in quite a while that my schedule and the weather synced up and allowed me to install the screened bottom board as a defense against Varroa.

Genesis and Exodus were both abuzz with activity.  Bees were busy flying to and fro.  The syrup feeders were both completely empty and lots of burr comb was built up in between the screen and the frames.  The bees didn't even seem to notice me while I was doing the inspection.  Eight out of the ten frames in the new chambers either had honey or capped brood in it.  Some of the frames were very heavy, laden with honey for the bees.  I checked out all twenty frames, never seeing the queen, but plenty of eggs, larva, and signs of a strong queen.  The brood pattern looked good.  Most of the frames in the bottom brood chambers were empty and the bees seemed to be cleaning them out or repacking them with...pollen?

The only thing  that got the bees stirred up was me taking apart their whole hive to install the screened bottom boards.  It only took a few minutes, but the bees were flying all around and surely would have stung if I was not in my full bee suit.

Since the second brood chambers were full, I removed the syrup feeders and added queen excluders and a honey super (this will be be where the honey that I take is stored by the bees).

I installed a 'sticky-board' to conduct the 48hr test and will send the results to the state apiarist, Phil Craft.

It's just my observation, but Exodus now seems just as strong in temperament, building levels, and population as Genesis.  Perhaps the funk they were in is over, perhaps not.  Whatever it is, it looks like it just may shape up to be a good honey year.

Here's a short clip of Genesis I took with the Flip-Video camera.

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