Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sutton Hi-Rise...

I've been in some training classes for work for the past three days, and today (the final day) the class ended a little early. I thought it might, so this morning I put the two upper brood chambers for the Sutton hives in my pickup truck to take to work; I was planning on stopping over to the Sutton hives if there were time.

Well, there was time, so off I go. As I was driving there after work, I realized I left my smoker at home!! But I knew I was going to simply give the hives a quick glance, and put on the super, so a lack of smoke wouldn't be too bad.

The temperature was in the mid 70's so the bees were out and about:

I popped off the outer and inner cover, and saw good numbers of bees on the tops of the frames:

When adding an upper chamber, I always pull one frame of bees and larvae from the bottom box and put it in the upper chamber, to give the bees a clue that they should use this chamber too. The frames I added to both hives were fully drawn, so the bees can occupy them immediately. Here's a good example of one of the frames:

This frame shows a good brood pattern (center), surrounded by pollen, then surrounded by what would normally be honey, but it looks like the bees had eaten it (maybe due to the rain). Another frame had a lot of nectar in it, so I am not worried about their food condition.

I also tilted up each of the bottom boxes checking for queen cells or cups; I saw neither on either hive, so that is good. With these new brood chambers the bees will be able to expand all they want!

When I got back home, I went out by the backyard hives. When the weather is this nice, I like to go out back and just watch all the industrious activity. Today the bees were very busy! Take a look:

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