Sunday, May 25, 2008

Fourth Week Inspection

The fourth inspection of the Beelandia apiary took place on a sunny, slightly windy day at around 2 in the afternoon. The temperature was hovering in the high 70s and low 80s. Dandelions are still blooming, along with crabapple, apple and other trees in the neighborhood.

I opened up Bee Glad..., the Langstroth hive, to see a good 70% drawn comb in the hive. The frames contained capped brood (mostly worker but some drone as well in the 3rd and eighth frames). The brood pattern was good. Other cells in the brood area contained eggs and larvae in different stages of development. I even saw one bee chewing her way out from a capped cell. There was a good band of stored pollen around in the brood nest area, some capped honey at the tops of some frames. No sign of disease either. In all the hive looks healthy.

I decided to place another deep box on top of Bee Glad.... I took the first frame, filled with pollen and uncapped honey from the bottom deep and placed it into the second box. Following the suggestion of Randy Oliver , I placed a green plastic drone frame into this box. As a part of my integrated pest management program, this frame will be pulled in a month or so when it contains capped drone brood cells. Hopefully, it will attract a good portion of any varroa mites that might be in the colony which can be disposed with before the mites increase their population to the point of damaging the bees. Before closing up the hive, I also did a powdered sugar shake.
Metpropolis, the Kenyon top bar hive, was also thriving. Like in Bee Glad..., combs contained brood in all stages, and mostly worker capped cells. The bars in front and to the right of the entrance were drawn straight with no cross-comb at all. To the left, however, there are three bars with cross-comb problems. I did some trimming of one, separated some of the others. I added an empty bar between the middle most straight comb and the first bar with cross-comb, in order to eventually rotate out the cross-combed bars to the edge of the hive. These will eventually be removed. I added two new bars with starter strip to each end of the hive.

The trimming of the cross-comb was done on a Bar Cradle which Monta built for me.

I did a powdered sugar shake on Metpropolis also, using an old smoker to "puff" sugar up through the hardware cloth at the bottom of the hive.

1 comment:

Gerry Gomez Pearlberg said...

I'd love to see the cradle for holding the top bars, if you care to post a shot or two. :)