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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hive Check - Good News and Bad News

Today I took advantage of the nice weather and went out and checked the hives. Here's the report:

Genesis: My concerns about this hive and its well being have been confirmed. First, there was very little activity coming or going. On my last visit, I had put the second super on this hive. Sadly, the bees had not even touched it. The bottom super was still at about 70% complete with no frames looking completely full. Plenty of honey, but no eggs in the top brood chamber. I did see swarm and supercedure cells, but no evidence of a queen. I did see emerging bees so that mean
s that I had a queen at least 22 days ago. If counting by the few larve I saw, then I could safely say that I had a queen 10 days ago. That being said, I believe that this hive either swarmed or has superceded the original queen. My concern is not for honey stores at this time, but rather the population. I'll do another inspection in a week to ensure that a queen does exist and is laying. If not, I'll transfer a frame of brood from Exodus into Genesis and let them raise a queen themselves. I did see a wax moth larve, but only one. This hive will take some monitoring to ensure it survives the winter. (in the photo above, notice the classic honey arch. The interior of the frame should be filled with capped brood and/or baby bees, instead, it's empty. Classic sign of a loss of a queen)

Exodus: Surprisingly, this hive is doing great. The bees were 'boiling' out of the hive. They had completed one super and are onto the second. The top brood chamber is full of honey, massive amounts. No signs of trouble, but I did only see a few cells with eggs. That's good enough. I'll defiantly be taking some honey off of this hive.

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