We took a family vacation the end of June / first of July, and I didn't have a chance to check the hives before we left. In fact, the lawn needed mowing before we left, but the rain kept me from mowing, so I was a little fearful of the jungle that would be awaiting me when I returned. It wasn't too bad.
Anyway, the weather has been hot, and Sunday I had a chance to check all of the hives. You can see that the bees were active on both of the hives in my backyard.
This hive continues to have a ton of bees. You can see how many of them were hanging out on top of the inner cover
There was a good brood pattern in the hive.
I even got to spot the queen here, marked with last year's yellow dot:
The hive is doing a good job loading up the honey supers!
I may plan to extract in a week or so. The lower honey super is pretty much full, and the upper one is about 1/2 full.
This hive continues to be a little hot - as soon as I open up the hive, even after smoking it, I get about 4-6 bees just giving me the business! But with the amount of honey they are bringing in, I'm content for now to leave it alone.
I put a honey super on this hive a few weeks ago, but it is plumb empty. However, the upper brood chamber is *heavy*!! It has a lot of honey in it. You can see this frame has more honey on it than usual.
I may have to take out some honey and give them more room, but we'll see if they start moving things to the honey super. Not as many bees in this hive as in the brown hive, but it is doing well.
There is only one hive in Sutton now. I panned on splitting it today. There were plenty of bees in the hive.
This next picture has an interesting pattern - not full of brood like you'd expect, but the cells without brood have pollen in them. I wasn't aware bees mixed things up so much.
But another newer frame showed some good "traditional" brood pattern:
I purchased this package from a RI bee supplier, and like last time, paid extra for a marked queen. But like last time, I got a package with an unmarked queen. Nothing like taking extra money for nothing! (I don't think I'll use him again).
I found the queen this day, and marked her with a red dot (for 2013).
As I said, I wanted to split the hive. So I just pulled over a couple of frames that had eggs and young larvae into a separate nuc. There wasn't too much in the way of extra honey available from the main hive, so I gave them what I could. I'll stop over with some frames of honey from last year's (failed) hive.
So now there are two hives in Sutton!