Yesterday, I ventured out to the Pam Nelson's home to do a bee consultation. We found that as she suspected, one hive was tremendous in their comb building, brood rearing and resource foraging! The brood patterns were very full and provided July isn't solid rain, Pam will have great success with this colony. Her other hive was "slow" and although we saw the queen and lots of evidence of eggs, larva and pupa, her pattern was a bit "spotty" and had I know this earlier, I would have recommended re-queening this colony. I am officially out of back-up queens so if any of us have trouble with queens, our options are: 1)ship up a new queen from Steve Victors 2) let a queen cell hatch out and hope that you have enough drones on hand to get the mating job done in the first three days of the queens life. I'm proud of Pam for nurturing her bees through the cold and the heat and now the smoke! Whew! What a season we've had! What we need to do now is pray for 65-75* weather in July with a bit of rain every afternoon or every other day. This will bring in the best honeyflow we've seen in a few years! Oh, and I believe the early honeyflow has been halted due to the heat and smoke.
A couple days ago, I visited the Fillion's home out CHSR. They are running one Russian colony from Steve Petersen and one Italian colony from Steve Victors. The Russians are colonizing in a top bar hive and the Italians were in a Warre hive. The top bar was a day or two from swarming and we removed multiple queen cells together. Cathy said they used battery jacket warmers to keep the bees warm during the freezing spring weather! What a beautiful location!