Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Year 2, Week 4: A Quick Inspection While the Sun Shined

Today was one of those days in Minnesota. Just wait 5 minutes, the weather could get worse. The temperature was in the upper 60s, amidst periods of sunny skies and rain. I quickly got in my inspection of the carniolan bees hived in Plan Bee... and Lib-BEE-taria, between down pours.

The bees have been quite active this week. Trees of various types (e.g. crab apple, maple, cherry) are still blossoming and dandelions are in full bloom as well. The bees come back to the hive looking like participants at a clown convention, pollen of all color types on their back legs.

The carniolans in both hives have been quite active. In the top bar hive, nine out of ten bars had some comb drawn on them. The queen in this hive seems quite good. The capped worker cells on both sides of 5 of the ten bars is solid, very few empty cells to speak of. I closed up this hive, added one undrawn bar to one side, filled the feeder with some more sugar water and went on to Lib-BEE-taria, the Langstroth hive.

The honeybees in the Langstroth have been as well although they have been somewhat reluctant to draw comb on the plastic frames, as I expected they would be. Two frames have capped worker brood but with slightly more empty cells as the top bar. I had to remove some cross comb as well. The carniolans in this hive seem a bit more defensive than in the top bar but were still quite decent to me. I "escaped" this inspection without a sting!

Just a note about the other two hives in which I installed Minnesota Hygienic bees two days ago. So far they have seem to be doing well. Metpropolis, the top bar hive, had drawn comb from last years bees and this year's inhabitants have been cleaning out debris and dead bees from it. They were bringing in pollen and have gone through half a gallon of sugar water already. The other hive, Bee Glad..., the other Langstroth, seems to be doing fine. They have a harder week ahead, having to draw comb in 8 out of 10 frames. I will take out the queen cages Saturday or Sunday, weather permitting.

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