Four Hives in a Row

We moved Hive #1 to its final location today. Here’s a photo of all our hives in a row shortly after the move.

We did a full inspection of the hive too. Most of the top box was full of honey with a few frames of brood in the middle. We pulled one frame of honey and replaced it with a frame of foundation. The bees will draw out the comb on the foundation and use it either for brood or honey, whichever they need most, I suppose. The bottom box was full of brood frames at various stages, and it’s all looking good. We pulled the last foundationless frame (with drone comb on it, of course) up into the top box so we can conveniently migrate it to the designated foundationless hive, Hive #1, as soon as we have a chance. We’ll probably extract the honey from the pulled frame, because, well, it’s likely to be the only honey we get this year, so we’re going for it, honey super be damned. I’ll post a video soon that shows exactly what’s involved in moving a hive. It’s a wacky bunch of fun. You’ll love it.

8 thoughts on “Four Hives in a Row

  1. We did inspections of all the hives in this photo today.

    Hive #2 on the far left, the 100% foundationless hive, probably won’t fill its honey super this year. Only a few frames were closed to being capped. The rest were either partially drawn or partially filled.

    The next hive, Hive #1, has two honey supers. Most of the frames are full of honey, maybe two or three aren’t partially filled, and they all look like their on their way being capped, though not quite there yet. We pulled at least three frames of capped honey from its two honey supers and replaced them with empty frames.

    Our hopes of getting 9 frames of honey from each of our current honey supers isn’t going to happen. Still, it’s better than what we expected to get, which is nothing.

    We declared ourselves low-impact beekeepers today because we hate doing full inspections. We did a nearly full inspection of Hive #2, but after two or three frames into the bottom brood box, we said, “This is enough.” The top box has so much honey that we had pull out one full frame, but there was still plenty of space for the queen to lay. We found the same in the bottom box, which is what I knew we would find there.

    A full inspection disrupts the hive too much. It’s not worth it to dig into the bottom box if we don’t have to. One frame from the middle of the bottom box enough to gage what’s going on. A full inspection also isn’t worth the risk of killing the queen.

    We did an inspection of Hive #2 as well, but after four frames with plenty of honey, plenty of brood and plenty of space for the queen to lay, we shut it down. The same for Hive #3 and #4. They’re all looking great. We even had to pull a frame of honey from one of the new hives just to make sure they queen doesn’t become honey bound. We know have 4 deep frames of honey in reserve for winter feeding. Nice.

  2. Hey Phil,

    I checked yesterday my questionable colonies.

    The virgin queen is mated and laying well. There is a better part of a frame of eggs. So that is a good sign.

    The queen in the nuc is released and laying well.

    The queen in my queenless colony is released and exporing frames. I assume she will begin laying today.

    So it looks like I have 6 going into winter plus a nuc.

    I am trying to decide how to proceed with the nuc. My colonies are getting pretty honey bound so I could do a 10 frame stacked nuc, bascially a two story 5 on 5. Or I can do the 5 on 5 with the top having 5 frames of honey.

    The nuc is made from 2″ strrofoam box. Apparently they over winter nucs with just 5 frames in Ohio, they have cold winters there. So why can;t we do it here?

  3. That’s excellent, Jeff. Seems like you dealt with some funky situations well.

    I keeping pulling honey frames from my hives, even the nucs (which I’m not feeding anymore), because I’m concerned about the queens becoming honey bound.

    You’re going to have your hands full with 6 hives next spring. I only have 4 now, and on the days I have to do full inspections, it’s a lot of work. 4 in my small backyard is too much. If I was sensibly, I’d only have one or two. I wouldn’t be concerned if I lived outside the city and had more property I could use, more space, but I can tell I’ve maxed out in my current location already.

    If I ever reach up to 10 hives, it’ll require a nice chunk of my time to maintain them. It’s beginning to sink in the kind of commitment it takes to be more than a casual beekeeper.

  4. As soon as I get out of this freelancing crap and can rely on a regular stream of income. I’ve already applied to work for Canada Post, although I don’t have high hopes because Canada Post is like the Mafia. You can’t get in unless your father, brother or someone in your immediate family is in.

  5. It’s nice. Unless you run someone over with your mail truck, they’re stuck with you. Although that’s one way Canada Post isn’t like the Mafia.

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