Quick Hive Inspection

July 10th, 2010

It has been mostly raining today, but it cleared up and the heat is not as bad as it has been, although it is still in the 80s with high humidity. I decided to pull the tops just to see how the girls are doing on the top super.

Martha, my weak hive, had lots and lots of bees, which surprised me as she has only a few sitting on the front porch. She has moderate activity with workers coming back with baskets of pollen, but nothing like the other hives. The inner cover was dense with bees and when I pried off the inner cover there were lots of bees in the top super. There were two drawn and capped frames, but the rest was empty. This is disappointing. The last time I looked, a month ago, they were working on those two frames, and I expected to see more done.

I had put two empty supers back on Connie after I robbed her honey. This was last May 23 or abouts. The chopped off wax in the top frame had been mostly repaired with some new comb, but no capped honey was to be seen. I expect that since I put the two empty boxes on they had been working on the lower super. They were irritated with me and started to get uppity so I closed her up without digging down deeper.

The other two hives, Justine and Ethel, are the packages that I installed in the beginning of April. These are very successful and very “hot”. They each have three supers. Justine is less active than Ethel, so I popped her top. The top super was waxed to the super and I was pulling up frames when I pulled up the top. The top super was almost fully drawn and filled with capped honey. I did not bother with Ethel as she is very populous and aggressive. I don’t want to be attacked. I figure her to be the same as Justine, only more so.

I guess it’s time to harvest. I don’t have any more spare supers or I would put them on these two hives. I haven’t gotten a working extractor built and I don’t have the cash to buy one right now. The honey harvest using the scrape and mash method was messy, to say the least.

I have enough for two supers and 20 frames. I will order these and hope that they come by the end of the week so I can paint them and put them on next weekend.