Comparing Hives

It’s 2pm and 20°C (70°F) in our backyard as I write this. A cool breeze but sunny. Three of our four hives are active and looking good. Hey, let’s go take a look:

Hives 3 and 4 were started from nucs last year and are doing well. Hive #1 is one of our original hives from 2010. It’s our most fully established hive. It was overflowing with so many bees that we had to add a second brood box to it a couple days ago. It shows no signs of slowing down.

Hive #2 — our foundationless hive — has also been around since 2010 and it still has its original queen. Some beekeepers say queens hit their stride when they’re two years old. Others say to requeen every year no matter what because young queens lay better and have the strongest pheromones (less chance of swarming). The reduced activity in the foundationless hive could mean the queen is failing: Her pheromones could be weak; she may not be laying well. It could mean a lot of things. I won’t know until I can do a full inspection, which probably won’t be until next week. I wonder what I’ll find…? Probably nothing.

It’s 21.5°C. It probably won’t be this warm again until July.

Activity in front of Hive #3 (May 11, 2012.)
Activity in front of Hive #4 (May 11, 2012.)
Activity in front of Hive #1 with three brood boxes (May 11, 2012.)
Activity in front of Hive #2, the foundationless hive (May 11, 2012.)

2 thoughts on “Comparing Hives

    • Nigel is most laid back cat I’ve ever seen, though he looks a little evil in this video (he’s squinting from the bright sun). If I have another pet, I think I’d like to call him Alan. Or Jim. (If it’s a boy animal.)

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