May 25, 2010

My hive has grown

 I'm not 100% sure I should have added the 2nd hive body but since the bees went from covering 5 full frames to now covering 8 full frames (some weren't fully drawn) in one week, I thought it best to add another one. I can't believe they made that much progress in less than 7 days. 

Mia and Joy watching as I open the hive

The bees are busy taking care of the babies

Joy and Mia checking out one of the frames

I was feeling really good about doing inspections and such but this time it felt a little scary. There were twice as many bees as before and I think I killed a few :( At one point the bees got really really pissed (I hope I didn't kill the queen) while I was putting a frame back in place. I've never heard them buzz as loudly as they did right then. On top of being nervous with all the buzzing going on it was hot outside so I was sweating something fierce. Plus, Joy and Mia were here and I wanted to make sure I didn't rush through too quickly so they would be able to see a few things. Hopefully their experience was good.

2nd hive body is in place, moved to the 2nd larger size opening in entrance reducer and pulled the cork in first hive body. Time will tell if I messed things up (7 days til next hive inspection).

Funny. When hubby saw how many bees there were he gave me "the look" and said "what have you gotten yourself into." Which caused more droplets of sweat to form above my brow.
Under the Willow said...

Very cool! I'm sure my sweating would be more like drowning... Great the girls were there-

TeresaR said...

How exciting about adding that extra hive body!!! I am sure you did great, even if you were nervous.

Jones Tyler said...

You did the right thing. I have had success dropping another super on when they have covered 7 frames, so I'm sure you'll do fine with 8. If you're feeding them (and I would, until you have two supers fully drawn out), they can build up wax quickly.

As to the heat, it gets worse in July and August. I try to sit my hives so they get some shade (ideally, from a deciduous tree) by around 3 pm, making the Summer inspections a little less painful (but not necessarily sweat free!)

Jim said...

I think you were right in adding the second hive body. I'm curious, though--what is the top box? Are you feeding them yet? If so, are they still feeding? I'd be tempted to eliminate that if they aren't taking food at this time. My guess is they aren't, with clover coming in fully now and so much to gather.

Michelle said...

Thanks Carrie and T! :) I wish both of you could be here to seem them.

Jones, thanks - I'm hoping by Sunday the queen will have moved into the 2nd box. Not quite sure what to do if she hasn't :(

Jim, for some reason our bees are still taking the sugar water. I thought they would have stopped by now but they go through a jar a week.

Strumelia said...

Hey Michelle, great going! Looks like you and I are at exactly the same place in our two hives, with 2nd deeps added. :)

Your queen will hopefully move back and forth to lay in both boxes once there is drawn comb up top too. She'll wander and lay where she sees fit in the two brood boxes, and that's good.

If I were you (which of course I'm not, lol) I'd open the top cork instead of the bottom one, to get some more air flow between the bottom entrance and the top deep. Also that would encourage the bees to go back and forth between the two deeps instead of just hanging out in the bottom deep like they are used to. Bees love upper entrances, and that will lure them up into the new brood box. Between the two entrances, they'll circulate more in the two brood boxes. :)

My bees stopped being very interested in syrup after their first two weeks in the new hives, so I just stopped feeding them like 3 weeks ago. There is plenty of stuff blooming everywhere for them to collect nectar from.

It is rather intimidating to see the massive amounts of bees in the boxes now, isn't it? Good thing we got used to them when the colonies were half that size, or we'd be freaked out now! lol!

Sam Smith said...

I guess your running a 2 box broodnest? Lol as to the number of bees wait till mid summer!

Michelle said...

Hi Stumelia,

I'm hoping the queen moves on up to that 2nd box. I drawn frame full of workers into the 2nd to lure her up (crossing fingers that it works).

For the cork in the 2nd box. I'm actually following a program laid out by Dr. Marla Spivak and Gary Reuter at the University of Minnesota. We are to follow their instructional DVD for our first year and then we take another class in the spring (2011). I appreciate the advice though. I'm creating a list of questions to bring to class such as this one.


I can't imagine opening that hive in mid summer :/ That is when things will really get interesting.

Pam J. said...

I'm so glad I happened upon your blog. In your second paragraph you describe your experience of adding more frames and the nervousness you felt. I could have written the exact same thing on almost the exact same day! Funny to hear MY experience coming our of YOUR blog. Your hive color looks so much like mine too. (Are we the same person?) I'll be checking back often!

Michelle said...

Hi Pam, thanks for reading! Do you have a blog also? It is always fun to share beekeeping experience with other beeks :)