Friday, August 14, 2015

August 13-14: Beekeepers' Winter is Beginning

In August, beekeepers begin to look toward the winter. We inspected our hives yesterday to determine status. All four hives presently have four supers.

Queen Anya -- looks like her kingdom is in trouble. There wasn't much nectar and the brood is light and spotty, although we saw uncapped brood. We didn't see the queen. This hive definitely needs heavy feeding. There were queen cells which makes us wonder if the queen is gone. Five frames in the top box had some honey and nectar, the other four were mostly empty. The bottom box was also mostly empty. The two in between had some stores and light brood. We moved the bottom box to the top and fed about three quarts of syrup today.

Queen Rachel -- This continues to be the strongest hive. The top box had a lot of capped honey, but bees were also feeding on the stores. We saw the queen in the second box down so we did not go further. That also had capped honey. Both boxes had frames of solid brood. She is doing her job. We also fed them today.

Queen Bianca -- This hive also has more capped honey and good brood pattern, but not as strong as Queen Rachel's kingdom. The bottom box was mostly empty so we moved it to the top. We also fed them today.

It looks like we will need to do serious feeding over the next few months and we are considering moving a frame of brood from Queen Rachel's hive to Queen Anya's. We'll determine after we see what the results of feeding are.

All the hives were bringing in pollen today, but not a lot.

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