Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Clean Bill of Health!

Worcester County has a Bee Inspector, and each year he makes the round to all of the hives for the annual inspection. Last year he showed up and I wasn't around, but this time I was at home. So I got a chance to watch him and we talked about our hives.

Like usual, Ken was dressed in Ken fashion - no bee suit, just a t-shirt and a long sleeve blue shirt. I think he wears the same outfit when he goes into hives - he had the same clothes on at the bee picnic:

Come to think of it, I don't think he wears anything but these clothes when he works the hives!

Anyway, armed with just a smoker and a hive tool, Ken started looking at my hives. The short answer is: they all passed with flying colors! None of my 4 hives (2 full-size and 2 nucs) had any problems which commonly beset hives: no mites, no DWV (deformed wing virus), nice queens, etc.

He did mention one concern: the brown hive had almost no honey stores. That could be why the queen isn't laying many eggs, he said. He suggested that I feed that hive some sugar syrup, which I will do. The green hive had some nectar/honey in the super, so he said I didn't need to feed that one, but I'll keep an eye on things.

We also talked about making a full-size hive out of my brown nuc (the one with the cute yellow mini-super). That nuc is full of bees, and is ready to be transplanted. So I guess I'll have to get off my duff and assemble some of the woodenware I bought last month. That cute little super is going to cause me some problems, however - it contains medium frames, and you usually only have deep frames in a nuc. So I am probably going to have to put a deep and a medium together, and then I can put a queen excluder under the medium (making sure the queen is below it). Then when the bees hatch out of the medium frames, I can remove them and put deeps on for the brood chambers.

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