Monday, May 5, 2008

State of the Hives: May 5, 2008

I opened all five hives yesterday to get an idea about what is happening in each and to see if there were any obvious problems. In general, I found a lot of bees doing what bee should do at this time of year. Hives 3 and 5, the ones built from recent swarms, are drawing comb like crazy. Hive 3 is two weeks old, and there is some beautifully capped brood cells on some of the frames. I have a couple of front feeders, but these still seem to want to get out and work the flowers.

Hive 4, my nuc hive, has been with me for about three weeks and sees to be expanding nicely. I had put a couple of interior jars of juice on them, but I found so much brood cell that I decided to put a second box of frames and just feed them from the front.

Hives 1 and 2, my hives from last year, are thriving with lots of bees and lots of activity. (I suspect that these two hives are the sources of the two swarms I've had.) Hive 2 is a four-box hive with a queen excluder between the top box and the other three. Hive 1 is a three-box hive with a queen excluder under the top box also. While there is a bit of honey in the top box of Hive 1, there is none in the top box of Hive 2. Nor were there very many bees in the top box of either hive. This was disappointing and disturbing.

So, I made a decision. I removed the queen excluders.

Did I do the right thing?

I'm going to pose this question on the forum and BeeMaster and see what the opinion is.

My plan is to look inside those hives in a couple of weeks and see what is happening.

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