Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Top Bars, Nucs, and Swarm Cells

Today's entry is a "catch-up" post. With my busy schedule this week, I neglected to report on Sunday's inspections of my two top bar hives. I will also report on today's inspections of the "walk-way nuc" I created a few weeks ago, and my examination of Bee Glad...

Sunday, my grand-daughter Taylor and I inspected the two top bar hives. From all appearances these two hives are doing so much better than any of the langstroths I maintain. (Whether this has anything to do with being top bar hives remains to be seen.)

Both top bars are strong with great, solid brood patterns. The bees have brought in a good deal of nectar and pollen. The queens look healthy. There were no signs of swarm or superseder cells as well. I am very pleased with their progress in this cool, rainy June we've had here in Winona.

Today I inspected two hives. First I opened up Bee Glad..., a langstorth hive; the only one to survive the winter.

Bee Glad... seems moderately strong, though its brood pattern is too spotty for my liking. I also discovered 10 or so swarm cells not yet capped but containing brood. This was unexpected.( I probably placed too much faith in my first attempts at checker boarding.) I pulled some capped drone comb for mite prevention, as well as two frames of capped honey which I placed in the nuc. I will watch Bee Glad... over the next week.

The walk-away nuc I created a few weeks ago is doing fine. I saw the new queen though no sign of her laying any eggs. I placed two frames of capped honey on either side of the nucs broodnest. I will watch this hive closely as well.

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