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Still Hanging Out in the Basement

I am now have serious reservations about my decision to feed the weaker hive so much and then put cane sugar (Mountain Camp Method) on the hives in late January/early February. I checked both hives on Friday and, while strong, neither of them had made hardly any progress up into the upper Deep. They both have around 8 frames full of honey (made mostly from sugar syrup, I’d guess) above them. This is somewhat annoying, as I had plans to clean up and fix the lower deeps on both hives with a reversal. The way things are now, this is looking less and less likely (of course, maybe this will be another nube concern and I’ll find them moving up quickly later this month – we’ll see…)

The Varina Beekeeper’s Association had a meeting about putting woodenware together this past Tuesday, although the conversation was seriously sidetracked and we did not spent a lot of time on that topic. It is unfortunate, as the main speaker (Kenny) has a ton of knowledge. To that effect, I asked him about my hives and the fact that the bees were still hanging out in the bottom deep. He advised to take two empty frames (just foundation) and drop them in the center of the upper deeps. This will encourage them to draw these out and the queen is likely to start laying in them (she should need space as she ramps up for the Nectar flow.) I decided to try this on the  (previously) weaker hive, since it already had two empty frames in it (both on the far outside of the deep.) I move the frames full of honey to the outside and swapped them with the  empty ones.

On another positive note, I noticed the bees bringing in yellow pollen, in addition to the vanilla/almost gray pollen they were bringing in during February and March. Both hives seem to have tapped into this trove a bit. I also found out that the weaker hive is now taking to the pollen substitute, instead of tossing it out of the hive as it used to. A couple of dozen bees were working it before I uprooted them to swap out the frames.

Most of my boxes and nuc’s are now constructed and partially painted. The wet weather is keeping the paint wet and sticky, so it’s been a bit of a pain trying to prevent them from sticking together when I stack them. I hope most of this goes away in the next month to month and a half, when I’ll be adding the two new kids to the block.

Next Sunday I will get my first look at my cousin, Rob’s, bees. He has a strong hive and has not looked at them yet. He invited me to do so with him, so it should be good fun.

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