Another behind the scenes visit to my beeyard, this time in March 2018 as I do one of my first hive manipulations of the year, reducing a 3-deep hive to a single deep hive.
01:15 — Talking about the characteristic of Russian honey bees (or what I’ve been told about them).
01:50 — Talking about single-deep brood chamber beekeeping.
03:00 — Talking about what I think I’ll find when I crack the hive open.
04:15 — My 3-hole rim in use.
04:20 — The beginning of the actual inspection, though it’s not really a full inspection. It’s just me pulling the top box off and setting it up as a new single-deep hive. I talk throughout most of this to explain — or take a guess at — what might be going on.
06:45 — Bees clustering on the sunny side of the hive.
07:20 — Granules of sugar in the comb, kinda looking like royal jelly.
08:00 — Examining untouched frames for honey stores (frames of honey).
09:10 — Using my Italian style (or J-hook) hive tool to pry frame out of the box.
09:45 — Speculating how 3-deep hives might be the perfect hive (in a place like Newfoundland) for someone who wants to try hands-off beekeeping. Can a colony in the 3-deep hive be self-sustaining to the point of needing little or no manipulation? Maybe.
11:20 — Talking about the small size of Russian clusters. Lots of speculative rambling.
13:20 — Mentioning how the bees are most friendly in the spring, in my experience.
13:40 — The bottom board full of dead bees and sugar near the end of winter.
14:10 — My theory on queens dying and then what looks like nosema showing up.
15:00 — What capped syrup look like.
16:00 — I know people in the US who feed their bees sugar syrup, let the bees cure the syrup and call it honey. I’ve seen at least one member of a local beekeeping association do the same thing. They did it out of ignorance, but nevertheless, it happens. (But there are easy ways to test the purity of honey.)
17:30 — Some discussion about single-deep brood beekeeping. (I think I’m leaning towards that.)
18:35 — I scraped the inside of a deep box to see if the bees would propolise it to create a propolis envelope. They did.
22:10 — Bees eating a protein patty and me blathering on about more stuff.
Check out my Month of March category for a sense of things that might happen for backyard beekeepers on the east coast of the island of Newfoundland in the month of March.