Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hive Check Update!!!

So I completed a thorough hive check this week.  The first hive check since summer finally arrived!  I found all my colonies in fair to great shape which I believe is a miracle given the "spring" weather we've had.  Some colonies are slow and the reason for this is the cold weather but how I know they are strong is that I see frames with a solid brood pattern (oval shaped) covering 1/2 to 2/3 of the frame on both sides.  Finding all stages of the metamorphosis (eggs, larva, pupa, adult) is another indicator my colonies are thriving and production of brood will rapidly increase as we continue to have warmer temperatures.  Now is a great time to watch our baby bees chew their way out of their cells.  This is so exciting to watch and a great tool for teaching children, family, neighbors and friends.  Because I started out with all drawn-out comb, I'm able to move my bottom brood box on top of the original box probably the beginning of next week.  This will stimulate faster brood build-up.  If you have up to 7 or 8 drawn-out frames with brood you can add a second box (ON THE BOTTOM!)  If you added a second box about two or three weeks ago then I would move it to the top the beginnning of next week.  Our bees are collecting Willow, Alder, and Aspen right now and will soon be foraging Birch, Cottonwood, and Dandelion.  If you have allergies to any of these, now is the time to trap some pollen. However, I won't leave my pollen trap on full time and any colonies I'm trapping will get a pollen patty so as to not starve the colony and especially the brood!  This is my favorite time of the beekeeping season as the weather is good and the bees are beginning to do what they were created to do. Oh, and yesterday I changed my entrance reducer to the middle size entrance. 


  1. I added a new brood box at the bottom two days ago, and changed to the bigger entrance opening. But the bees are still using the tiny top entrance. I am guessing there is not enough scent coming out of the bottom entrance since there are not bees using their wings to disperse air coming out of the entrance. Does it take some time for the bees to move down to the new brood box?

  2. Sometimes it will take several days for the bees to start using the bottom entrance but they will! Right now would be a great time to pull a couple frames of brood out of the original brood box and put them in the middle of the second box. This will entice the workers to get into the second box. They will want to build the nest deeper and wider into one huge oval and the bees that are born in the second box will work on the frames around the area where they were born!