Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sutton Hive Inspections 5-7-2010

I stopped by the Sutton hives, as I know that Hive 2 (the new one) probably needed a refill of sugar syrup. So I went in the late afternoon and did an inspection.

Sutton Hive 1

Based on the last inspection, I suspect this hive is queenless. As I went through the hive, I still didn't see any eggs or new brood. The strange thing is that the frame I pulled over from the other hive (which had eggs on it) had no evidence of any queen cells. I'll do a thorough inspection next time, and if I'm probably going to have to get a queen for this hive.

I was excited to see how things are going in the honey supers as well. There are 2 shallows and one medium (the medium had undrawn foundation). The bees are starting to cap the honey in the shallow supers - maybe a few weeks it will be ready to harvest. They aren't doing much in the medium - they have drawn out some of the comb, but have more to go.

Sutton Hive 2

The new hive is doing very well. Last time I gave them some empty drawn comb, and I found that they have used it almost exclusively for nectar storage. They finished drawing out the rest of the frames, and that means it is time to add the second story.

I planned on adding some more undrawn plastic frames. But based on my experiences with plastic foundation, I decided to give them a little edge. So last night I melted some more of my beeswax and added a coating of wax on the plastic frame. When I did that on the plastic in my hives, the bees were more inclined to draw out. I think that's going to be my usual mode of operation on plastic - I'll add some more wax, and then stay away from plastic and use wired wax.

I did remember to bring a spray bottle of sugar syrup to spray each frame before adding it to the super. Plus, I brought up one of the frames with brood on it from the lower to the upper super. Both of these actions help the bees accept the foundation.

So here is the hive with the second story added (taken with my cell phone since I forgot the camera):

I forgot to bring along an extra hive body, so I couldn't add the sugar syrup feeders. I'll have to stop by sometime later to do that.


  1. Interesting tip on spraying the frames with sugar water. I will try that.

  2. I got that tip out of the "Beekeeping for Dummies" book (a great book for beginners, by the way).

    Thanks - Steven

  3. Beekeeping can be a fascinating hobby but it can also be a profitable business. Beekeeping is a full time occupation for other people. There are thousands of hobby beekeepers worldwide and numerous large-scale commercial beekeepers. According to estimates, the annual production of honey worldwide exceeds a million metric tons.


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