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Hot & Bearding

It’s hot as Hades today in Richmond, Virginia, reaching 95 degrees on my gauge. Beekeeping is only fun on days like today when you’re just watching from afar. Regardless, I had to do a couple of checks to see what was going on in the Albo and Geronimo hives. I built another medium (Illinois super) box of frames last night and put foundation in them this morning. I wanted to make sure they were not close to filling of their current supers up. If they were, they would be going into the ‘it is daggone crowded in here’ psychosis and might decide to swarm. Putting an extra, empty super on top would give them the feeling of lots o’ space and keep them happy.

I cracked the Geronimo Hive, which I had seen working the one super on top, hoping to see a bunch of capped frames. Unfortunately, my luck continues to hold and it really does not look like they have done much work beyond my last look. All of the frames have some drawn comb on them, but none of them are fully drawn out and (with my brief inspection) I did not see any capped comb. Oh well. It would appear that I will not get any honey off of these guys, but I am going to continue to let them work at it this year, just to see how it goes. I did not drop any super on them. Of note, these bees were all over the landing board and some were actually hanging off of it, latching on to one another and creating a ‘beard-like’ look on the front of the hive. This is a common occurrence, although most folks worry that the bees are getting ready to swarm and fly off. Instead, they are just cooling off. I’d go out on the porch for some lemonade too!

The Albo Hive had not even touched the super on top. In fact, I briefly removed the super and noticed that they had not yet drawn out the last frame on the top brood chamber. This is the hive that I am going to consider splitting. They are not my strongest hive, but they are still a solid hive. I think that most of my hives did not get a great start, due to how late I received them last year. I am hopeful that next Spring will be a different story. I am thinking about feeding these bees just to see if they will draw out this honey super for next year.

Finally, I replaced the feeder on the Blue Cottage Hive. This weak hive has shown a lot of progress over the past week to ten days. I now see bees on the landing area and coming and going with more frequency then my initial investigations. I am pretty sure that dropping that frame of brood from the Westover Hive was a big boon. It should be noted that I momentarily thought the Westover Hive was robbing this hive, as I could see the blacker bees coming and going (a color that I mainly have in the Westover Hive.) Then I remembered that I had taken brood from them…so, these are some of that brood already going to work.

Not an extremely eventful post, but good for the journal and future reference.

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