Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Bubble Off Balance

So, we're back after an incredibly mild winter and an incredibly early spring.  All the dogwoods and redbuds are currently at peak, the world looks like spring time on steroids.

When last we left our two hives, the one on the right had one deep and two supers, with a mason jar feeder on top surrounded by a deep box.  We only fed them some of their own honey, no sugar water this year.

The hive on the left had two deeps and two supers.  Both big honking hives for overwintering.  Humongous.
Crazy big.

While no one may want to model their beekeeping after ours (particularly the way our hives tend to list to one side or toward the front), all I can say is that the girls were going great guns today.  Both hives had a super pretty full of honey, lots of brood, lots of bees.

In our beekeeping for lunatics way, we shuffled things around.  The lower super in each hive had some brood and some honey.  After we determined we weren't going to trap the queen down at the bottom,  we shifted those supers to the bottom of each hive in the hopes that the bees will move upwards, since we really don't want supers as brood boxes.

We added an empty deep to the hive on the right, between the brood box and the honey super.  We added an empty super with drawn comb to the top of the hive on the left, making it even taller, putting a queen excluder below the new super.

The bees have room for expansion on the outside frames....they've chimneyed up the middle of the hives.
We got the hive on the left balanced from left to right, but it is still leaning forward too much.  A job for another day.  Two stings...the assistant got one on the knee.  A clever bee found a way in to my suit (the hole where the zipper meets) and nailed me right on the adam's apple.  Ouch.  (Postscript...some of the baking soda from my poultice just fell down the front of my shirt and I jumped, thinking I had another bee in my clothes.  I really should be braver than this.)

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