Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sutton Inspection 5-23-2010

I finally got a chance to visit the Sutton hives. It's been over a week since I've been out there, and I know the new hive's sugar syrup feeders are empty. I am taking a couple more jars of sugar syrup to feed them, and I promise to stop by more often, if to do nothing else but put more syrup on the hive. I want them to build up nice and quick and feeding 1:1 syrup stimulates feeding.

Sutton Hive 2

Here's a frame from that hive - you can see the good larvae in the cells:

One of the frames has some goofy comb built on it. Take a look:

What you see is a piece of comb hanging down in front of the plastic foundation, instead of attached to it. I think what happened is that the plastic didn't have enough wax on it, so the bees didn't know / want to attach the comb to it.

The only problem with this arrangement is that is interferes with the adjacent frame's comb. But they sort of left a "gap" in that frame to account for the extra thickness. As long as I keep these two frames together in the same order, the bees are fine. It's only humans who want to see comb built nice and straight - the bees don't care!

In this next picture you can see the queen:

The blue dot on her back is washed out in the photo - in real live it's a nice vibrant bright blue, easy to spot.

Sutton Hive 1

This hive is doing very well, population-wise. I performed the inspection, and could see lots of capped brood:

In the honey supers they are already putting away lots of nectar - I think this hive may do great with the honey. I also saw lots of nectar in the brood chamber, which concerns me. There are frames with intermixed nectar and capped brood. If a hive becomes "honey bound" there isn't enough room for the queen to lay.

Speaking of the queen, I have yet to see the queen in this hive. There are so many bees that finding the (unmarked) queen is a real challenge. Also, I haven't seen any eggs and/or larvae in a while. I don't know if there is a problem with places for the queen to lay or what. There are no queen cups or queen cells, so they don't appear to be inclined to swarm any time soon.

Here's the bottom box of the hive - see all the bees! They make it hard to manipulate the frames (especially putting back in the last frame):

Here you can see the 3 honey supers (up on end) and the top brood box. Again, lots of bees. This is good!

I'll come out next week and see if I need to free up some space in the brood chamber for the queen to lay.

Finally, here is what the outside of the hive looked like after I was done with my inspection:

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