Saturday, May 28, 2011

2 Story

On May 5th, I decided it was time to add a second story on the hives. The extra boxes are called "supers". Sometimes on hives, you will see several supers stacked up, sometimes very tall.  Mine are just shorties right now, but I have plans to possibly add another top box in a few weeks for a little possible fall honey gathering. Supers usually hold honey (or you want them to hold honey only). A whole super full of honey is what the bees eat over the winter. As I understand it, any other supers full of honey are yours to keep. I kind of think of it this way, the fruit fruits are your investment, giving it back to nature.

So here is how things looked on May 5th.  Here are the supers getting ready. These are small framed supers (the frame is shorter than the frames in the main hive body). This is mainly because I am a weenie and this one, when full, will weigh less.
My supplies here are my two supers, my regular supplies in my very first tool box from when I was a little girl, my smoker, some sugar water for feeding, and some sugar water in a sprayer. The sprayer is to spray the empty frames to make the new addition a little more attractive to the bees.

So, after getting them sprayed, we were ready to go! The install is easy (just put it on there!), but I wanted to check out how the girls were doing. I have two hives. I will just refer to them as left and right so you will be able to tell the difference. 

Left  was strong in the beginning, but it had weakened considerably over the month. Upon counsel from my mentor and all-knowing bee man, we think it probably swarmed early. So you saw that beauty of a queen from the hive on the right in the previous post. I had never seen the queen in this hive (the picture from the last post was a drone, or boy bee). On May 5th, I think there was still a queen though. Here is some evidence that the hive had had a queen in the previous ten days or so. I did not see any young larva and that worried me a little. You can see she had an ok pattern.

Here are some other pics from the left hive. 
This is honey being capped. 

I left these queen cells because I was worried about the queen being gone (there was no young larva).

I just love the bee chain. I asked about this last time and Dad and Steven from Steven's Bees confirmed this is part of the wax making process. Thanks for the help!

So that is the hive on the left. Let's see how the right was doing on May 5th. I want you to see the comparison. This is the left:

This is the right:

A little more full, eh? This queen was on the ball. Here is a little of what she had been doing. 

So I felt good about this queen. So the next step was to see what happened with the left, weaker hive and the queen cells I left in there. Stay turned for the next update!

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic brood pattern for the queen on the right hive - she's a keeper!

    Thanks for the shout-out as well.

    -- Steven