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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Thriving vs. Failing Hive

Today I went out to harvest the honey from Genesis and Exodus so I would have some honey to show at the local fair next week. More about the harvest in the next post, but a quick hive update.

Exodus: Of course, this hive continues to thrive. Lots of bees and activity and lots of honey stored up for the winter. Could this be a sign of a cold winter to come? I don't know. I need to find a good frame of eggs in this hive as well. There is so much honey that I don't want it to become honey-bound. I have seen minimal eggs in my latest inspections.

Genesis: If a picture is worth a thousand words, I think this comparison tells it all. This is a failing hive. Not a single egg, minimal brood, and no queen cells from the frame I transfered last week into this hive. Honey levels remain low and unless I get a new queen in this hive, I believe it will fail very quickly. Another concerning thing that I saw were hundreds of dead bees on the screened bottom board (after tearing into this hive). The bees are just too depressed to do any housecleaning, or my making the hive entrance too small has limited their ability to clean out the hive. Anyone have any ideas on this? I also believe that this hive is being visited by a skunk or raccoon. I also did a powdered sugar shake on this hive to knock down some of the Varroa.

I think this is why it is important for new beekeepers to always have more than one hive. One can compare and contrast the health and well-being of one hive with another.

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