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She May Be Old, But She Isn’t Missing a Beat!

Today was my 2 week checkpoint for all three hives. I actually had hoped that I would be talking about my two new Nuc’s, but that will probably have to wait for another week or so. Some Nuc’s are ready, but I am 14th on the list, so I have a bit more to go. I sent several folks to Tom after I put my order in, so he must have a really long list (I was 14th and put my order in last Fall!) I didn’t put my Pop’s order in until early December, so I am not sure where that is on the list. I will probably give him one of my Nuc’s and hope Tom is able to get the third one done later.

As to my hives, things appear good, although not as good as I expected in some cases.

Geronimo Hive
Found larvae and pupa
Did not find queen
The bottom deep was wall to wall capped brood (the outside frames were nectar/honey)
Top deep had three frames of capped brood.
Nothing in the honey super (not even working the foundation yet)
Three queen cups found on the northernmost frame of the bottom deep

I was surprised to find the queen laying in the top Deep here. At first, I wondered if I was going to be doing a reversal after all, but found a ton of capped brood in the bottom, so I left it be. I am also surprised to see that no work has been done on the honey super. It is all foundation. I am going to research this a bit. They have drawn out all of the top deep, so they have no where else to go. I hope to see some work in that Super at my next check.

Since this queen is laying in the top Deep now, I will still probably do a full inspection two weeks from now, just to see what is going on.

Albo Hive
No queen found.
Found larva.

The Albo hive is coming along, although not as strong as the Geronimo hive. They still have 2 and a half frames of foundation (one of them was because I took one of their honey frames for the swarm) in the top deep. The queen was laying in the bottom deep and there appears to be a ton of bees on the way.

The main problem with this hive is that they (once again) built up a ton of burr comb between the top and bottom deeps. Tons of it, full of honey or nectar. This is the second time that I have had to scrape off the stuff. I wish they would spend their efforts building out the final comb in the upper deep and the comb in the honey super.

Westover Hive
No queen found.
Found larva and tons of capped brood.

This hive is really something else. To begin with, the bees are blacker then my established hive. All of them. I had a friend come over and look at all of the hives yesterday and he even commented on it. They are really black. But, they are also hard workers. The entire bottom deep was either fully drawn out or 75% drawn out. One frame still had some work that needed to be done on it. I would guess that 6 or 7 frames had the typical brood pattern with honey above it. One frame was solid capped brood. She may be an old gal, but she is really going to town on the egg laying.

As to the upper deep, they had only done a bit of work on two of the frames. It was really not much at all. I wonder if they slowed down the wax build up because I did not fill the feeder for the past few days (I like it to be empty when I do an inspection)? Well, we shall see as I filled her up again this time.

One final cool item was that I believe that I saw the first orientation flight that I have noticed at this hive today. A bunch of the bees were certainly flying around in front of the hive and no fighting was going on. Due to the strength of this hive, I removed the entrance reducer and let them go. They are a strong bunch. I might do a split off of this crew if things work out right.

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