Monday, April 25, 2011

Spring Cleaning

We sorted out the two hives today.  Moved them from the wagons to their permanent locations on concrete blocks.  We're smarter than we used to be...put cardboard under the blocks to prevent weeds and used a bubble balance on the blocks to get them level before putting the hives there.

The hive closest to the garden, our hive with tracheal mites, looks pretty good.  There were five frames of capped brood in the top deep, nothing in the bottom and only honey in the super.  We left the super on top, replaced some of the blacker comb in the empty deep and reversed the deeps so the queen can move up and lay more eggs.

The other hive was looking very strong.  We've noticed that these girls propolize like it is going out of style, so we spend a lot of time getting the lid unglued and the frames dug out for inspection.  They had brood in their top super, so we put it on the very bottom so they'll move up out of it.  They had honey and brood in the top deep and not much in the bottom deep, so we also reversed their deeps.  We put the mostly empty frames in a new deep box with better handles for easier portability.  Later we plan to swap out the other deep box, as it likewise has shallow handles that are hard to grab.

We went ahead and added a super to the strong hive, as the tulip poplars and black locust trees are starting to bloom early this year.  This hive will probably be our main source of honey this year.  I can hardly wait to harvest.