Monday, May 9, 2011

Super Up!

Things are really blooming, so I decided to add supers to my backyard hives. Not exactly the most exciting of operations:
  1. Give 'em a little smoke
  2. Remove the inner cover
  3. Add a queen excluder
  4. Add the medium super
I sprayed some of the frames of the super with sugar water, which in theory encourages the bees to use the super (I have a mix of drawn comb and undrawn foundation).

I also did a quick "tilt check" - this is where you tilt up the upper brood chamber and look in between them, looking for swarm cells. You do a tilt check when you can't do a full inspection - at least you will be able to see swarm preparations. In my hives, I didn't see any swarm cells - I saw a queen cup on one of the frames on the brown hive. But it was empty. But I did notice the upper chamber of the pink hive is very heavy - probably lots of nectar/honey. If it gets too full, I may have to spin out a frame or two (with my new extractor! yay!) to give the queen some more room.

So here's how we look now:

(Oops! I just noticed that I put the brown super on the pink hive, and vice versa! Good thing bees aren't too picky!)

There's still an empty spot on my stand; we'll see if the bees decide I need to create a new hive (if they want to swarm); or I can make one myself.

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