Monday, May 6, 2013

Today's Hive Check Results

So Pam Nelson and Craig Dozier came along for my seven hive checks.  We discovered four Italian colonies and one Carniolan colony which are all doing very well!  They all had strong queens will nice brood patterns.  I expect the pupa to hatch-out in the next week.  My top bar hive is not doing very well and as Steve Victors says, "Top bar hives were invented for tropical climates."  The other troublesome colony is my two-queen.  I will give them both a few more days before I check again to see if the activity has increased at all.  If not, I will combine the two into a Langstroth hive and re-queen them with one queen.  When combining colonies, I will leave one brood box on the bottom board, place a few sheets of newspaper on top of it, and cut a few slices in it.  Then I will put a second brood box on top and dump the top bar bees into the top brood box.  The newspaper allows the two colonies to get acquainted on a more gradual basis. Out of all the colonies, only one had the beginning of a queen cell which I scraped off with my hive tool.  Thank you to McKinley Dozier for spotting the queen cell!!  Now I will write "queen check" on my calendar on 5/17/13 since that is 12 days from now.  I will continue to fee sugar water and pollen patties until the weather warms up considerably.  I got ten new queens on Sat. and five have already gone out as replacements so I only have five left for now.   

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