Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Inspection 9-11-2013 - Overdue!

I usually do my inspections on Saturdays or Sundays. Between activities which take up my Saturdays, and some bad weather, I haven't been able to inspect like I'd like.

I decided to take a half-day off on Wednesday since the weather was supposed to be nice. In this case, "nice" meant really hot and humid. When I started my inspection in the morning, the temperature was already 80!

I had a few goals for this inspection - check things out, and add some MAQS mite treatment.

White Nuc

I started on the White Nuc, which was the nuc I created by bringing back the frame with the capped queen cell on it from Sutton. According to bee math, there might be a new queen here if all went well.

Sure enough, as I pulled a frame, I found her! See if you can spot her on this frame (I like playing "spot the queen" on my blog!):

In case you can't find her, click here for a version of the picture with the queen circled.

So I did with her what I always do when I have a new queen - I marked her!

(there was another worker trapped in the marking tube that I didn't bother getting out).

So now I have another Nuc.

Blue Nuc

The Blue Nuc has one of George's queens in it. Here she is - doing a good job:

Gray Nuc

The Gray Nuc has the queen I moved over from the Green Hive. Looking at this frame, it doesn't look as nice and full as others:

Here's the queen, marked with yellow from last year:

But this hive is bringing in some good honey for their stores (I won't collect this since it's in a nuc):

I haven't quite decided what to do with this nuc / queen yet. When she was in the green hive, the hive was very very nasty and mean. That's why I replaced her with one of George's queens. If she is making mean bees due to genetics, I don't know if I want to keep that line alive. I may end up snuffing her and combining the bees back into the green hive. I'll give it another inspection before I decide.

Brown Hive

The brown hive is doing well. The honey super up top was pretty much empty. But the bees are doing all right in the upper chamber - a good honey frame:

And here's a good brood frame. Note that it's a half-circle, meaning there is other brood in the lower chamber:

I decided to apply some Mite Away Quick Strips (MAQS) to the hive. It's one of two types of chemical treatments I do (the other being Fumagillin in the fall for Nosema control).

You place two pads in between the upper and lower brood chambers:

A couple of things I like about this treatment - you don't have to remove your honey supers, and you don't have to remember to remove the treatment after you are done. I eventually remove it, but the treatment ends itself.

Green Hive

I saved the worst for last - the green hive has been nasty. I requeened with George's queen, so eventually it will sort itself out, but I have to wait until the mean bees die. Well, to (mis-)quote Monty Python, "they aren't dead yet!"

I got a little bit of a surprise when I opened up the hive. There's a honey super on it just because, and the surprise was that it was actually heavy! The bees were collecting some honey, I suspect from goldenrod. Here is one of the frames partially filled:

They were also collecting it in the brood chamber as well:

Here's a good frame of brood from the new queen:

And here's the queen:

I added a 2nd box for the brood chamber, to get the hive ready for the winter. I also added the MAQS but didn't get any pictures - because the bees were MEAN!

At the end I took this picture of the hives:

As a final thing, as I took this picture, a bee from the green hive zapped me on the inside of my arm (on the fleshy part, of course!). I was still in my suit. It took 10 minutes standing in front of my garage door waiting for the 5 bees who were hassling me to finally leave me alone. I'll be glad when that hive calms down.

Oh, and the temperature? It got even hotter by the time I was done. I was drenched in sweat, and had to take another shower before I went on to work.

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