Sunday, July 31, 2016

July 30: Removed the Queen Excluders and Took Out Four Honey Frames

We inspected all four hives and replaced the queen excluders and the undrawn frames we put in last week when we took out frames for the honey harvest. Today, we replaced most of them with the empty frames from the harvest -- less work for the bees when they have already drawn frames. They can just start filling them with nectar and pollen.

We saw plenty of capped and uncapped brood in all the hives. When the weather gets cooler we'll do a full inspection. We just examined the top box on Madeleine and the top two boxes on Bianca, Anya, and Rachel. All's looking well!

Today's status:

Madeleine: No honey but replaced several undrawn frames with empty drawn frames. They hadn't worked the new frames at all. 

Bianca: Took out two honey frames and replaced with drawn frames. We also removed several empty frames the bees were beginning to draw. We'll save those for next year. 

Anya: Several dozen dead bees on top of the inner cover -- not sure why. Due to the queen excluder? We took one frame of honey out and pulled out the new frames we put in last week and replaced them with empty frames from the harvest. The new frames were partially drawn -- good start for next spring.

Rachel: We took one frame of honey and replaced the two empty frames we put in on he 21st and replaced them with drawn frames from the harvest. The new frames were being worked, but not much wax on the cells yet.

We decided to check again in another ten days and see if we get a few more frames of capped honey. Then we'll borrow the equipment and have our own mini-harvest. We got about 55 pounds of honey from the harvest and will get another 20 pounds if we pull two more frames. It's been a great season and the girls get awards for hard work and delicious honey! Meanwhile we have the four capped frames in the refrigerator to protected them from ants.

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