Saturday, March 21, 2009

Switching the Hive Bodies, New Bottom Board

Before: After:
(1) Come spring, if you have two deeps (two hive bodies, or two boxes), the bees will have mostly moved up into the top box. We switched the top and bottom boxes to give them upwards room to grow. The queen's job in spring is to make lots of baby bees to do the work of the active season. (I'm not counting the very top box in this account, since it is a feeder rather than a hive body.)
(2) There were still two frames full of honey on the outside of the inhabited on either side. Since the bees still cluster in the middle when it is cold, they can't get to the honey if it is outside the cluster, so we took those frames and switched them with the two center frames of the emptyish box, which puts them now right above the cluster of bees. Top and center, ready to eat.
(3) We replaced the solid wood bottom board with a fancy screened bottom board. The screen will allow more ventilation, and will also help with reducing pests in the hive and doing studies to see how many mites and beetles and such are in the hive to begin with.
More on that later.
(4) The mason jar sugar feeder is still in that top box. It was a quarter full earlier in the week and was empty today. I'll make some more sugar water in the next hour or so to put in there tonight. We'll medicate the sugar water again to treat their ongoing stomach bug...see the telltale poopage on the front of the hive in this last picture?

Stomach bug or no, there were LOTS of bees in the hive. They're looking healthy and active on the whole.

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