Archive for the ‘PTC Bee Yard’ Category
Here’s a combined write up for the PTC and Woolsey hives and what the findings were when we conducted our quickie spring inspection. This is not the full spring inspection. I conducted the inspections very quickly to avoid chilling the brood. The idea was just to get a general idea on how the hive was doing and to identify any obvious problems as early as possible.
This hive is in awesome shape. It had been a month since I last visited this hive and the bees had hardly touched the Megabee patty or the sugar syrup. This is good because it tells me that they have a viable food source. Indeed they were storing honey on both sides of the brood nest. The only thing blooming right now is Red Maple, so I’m assuming that there is ample forage available.
The brood nest was good sized spanning 6 frames with brood in all stages of development. Brood pattern was pretty solid as well. Forager traffic was high considering the temperature (low 50s).
I removed one of the division board feeders and changed the syrup in the other one. I also added another megabee patty.
This hive is also in great shape. Both feeders were empty, and the megabee patty was completely consumed. Broodnest was a good size (spanning 5 frames to the depth of the super) with numerous eggs and larve in solid patterns across both sides of three frames. There were also new honey stores over the brood nest, indicating that this hive had also found early forage.
I removed one of the feeders and added another megabee patty.
Spotted 8 small hive beetles in this one. I’ll be adding a beetle trap on the next visit.
Note: Many beekeepers would question the approach of adding pollen and syrup while the bees have available forage, but it is not unusual (especially during the spring build up) for a hive to completely consume its stores over a few days of bad weather trying to feed the expanding brood nest. We still have nights in the 20s so I look at taking these steps as insurance. If they don’t need it, they’ll just leave it alone in favor of available forage. But if they do need it and it’s not there, the hive could suffer.
Cold as hell today, but it’s only going to get colder the rest of the week so it was either today or wait till next week to get pollen patties on the hives. I made a few yesterday from 2:1 syrup and megabee. Each of the hives got one except for the one in PTC. That one got two since it’s more of a drive for me, but also it’s still looking pretty strong as well. I also got the last two hives wrapped in 30# felt paper as well – so that’s all good.
All in all the hives looked pretty healthy. The cluster was a pretty good size and they seemed pretty defensive when I opened the top ( I guess I would be too!). But that’s a good sign. I didn’t want to linger with it being so cold out, but it looked like all the hives still had what looked like plenty of capped stores. It’s too early to say of course, but I’m hoping that I can come out in the spring without any losses. (fingers, toes, and elbows crossed!)
Honey Run Apiaries has some good reading on how to make pollen patties in case you’re curious.
till next time…
I continue to have numerous problems with hives going queenless causing me to have to pull brood frames from other healthy hives to allow them to raise a new one. This practice is not sustainable. I don’t know why all these queens are failing – hives look completely healthy otherwise. I’ve setup 2 Nucs at the Brooks yard – split from two of the better hives to suplement the queen rearing needs. PTC and Woolsey yards seem to be most affected by this phenominon – which is funny because they are in very rural locations and have abudant forage.
I’ll be running a bucket of sugar syrup & mega-bee out to PTC and Woolsey tomorrow to supplement the forage and hopefully encourage the queenless hives to do a better job replacing their queen.
Looks good. 4 Frames of bees – lots of brood. No SHB. Treated with powdered sugar.
Not so good. 2 Frames of bees. No Brood or eggs. More queen problems. Pulled a frame of brood from PTC 1.
Again – no brood. Pulled brood frame from #4 Not Cool.
Looks ok. Not going gangbusters, but there were brood and eggs.
Looks ok. Brood and eggs, but spotty pattern.
Doing great. Lots of brood and eggs. Treated with powdered sugar. No SHB.
Good eggs and brood. 3 frames of bees. No SHB. Treated with powdered sugar.
Good eggs and brood.
Most of the brood that was in the honey super has since hatched out. Looks like I lucked out and the queen was in the bottom deep when I put the excluder on last week. The bees are moving into the honey super and reusing the old brood cells for honey storage. So far 4 frames are drawn out, but none capped over yet.
Ready for 2nd deep. Pulled 2 frames brood and honey and split off Nuc. Replaced frames with foundation.
Looks good. Bees have moved up into the 2nd deep and have begun to draw out comb.
No real change. Some activity in honey super, but no comb drawn out. Bottom deep is full of bees.
This is probably the most enthusiastic queen I’ve ever seen. Pulled 2 frames and started Nuc. Replaced frames with foundation.
New nuc colony for purposes of queen raising. Split from Brooks 2
New nuc colony for purposes of queen raising. Split from Brooks 5.
Woolsey Hive 1
Looks good. No need for changes. Population is building rapidly so I didn’t bother looking for brood. This one will also need a 2nd deep soon.
Woolsey Hive 2
The one is the worst of the bunch. Population had dwindled to only a few frames of bees. No queen and no brood. I pulled a frame of bees and brood from Woolsey 3 and crossed my fingers.
Woolsey Hive 3
Looks good. No changes needed. Found brood on first frame I pulled so no need to look further. Pulled one frame of eggs & brood to supplement Woolsey Hive 2 in the hopes that they will raise another queen.
PTC Hive 1
Strong hive – even a little defensive, requiring more smoke than the others. Will keep an eye on the temperment. This hive was started with a package from south GA, so its possible that there may be some African genes in the mix. Not likely, but somethig to keep an eye on. Good honey stores being put away. Pulled feeder.
PTC Hive 2
No queen but still some covered brood. Population was smaller than it should have been but not to the degree that it was alarming. I did find a few queen cells so I’m going to take a wait and see approach with this one. I’m thinking that they might have rejected the queen that came in the package.
PTC Hive 3, 4, 5
Good growth. Typical for what one would expect with a new package. All the queens were laying. However, PTC 4 had a spotty brood pattern. I hate gimpy queens. If she doesn’t start laying better within a few weeks, I’m going to requeen it. PTC 5 had heavy propolis on the lid. Nothing to worry about necessarily, but annoying.
Fayetteville Hive 1
Looks Good. Feeder down to 1/2. Saw queen a decent brood pattern. Saw one queen cell.
Fayetteville Hive 2
Egg city. Feeder down to 1/4. Didn’t bother looking for queen. She was obviously busy.
Fayetteville Hive 3
Huge Brood nest. Didn’t bother looking for Queen.
Brooks Hive 1
3 frames with some unfinished honey. High hopes for this one. Some brood in the honey super, but only a few cells.
Brooks Hive 2
Ready for 2nd deep. Treated with powdered sugar. SHB trap was clean.
Brooks Hive 3
This one needs the 2nd deep now. No question. Treated with powdered sugar.
Brooks Hive 4
Very little activity in honey super. Treated with powdered sugar.
Brooks Hive 5
Moved from Nuc to a single deep. This one was packed with bees. Pulled swarm cells and mixed up brood nest a little when I moved it. Hoping that will kill the swarm instinct.