Stealing From The Rich to Give To The Poor

It could be interesting to come back to the video in this post in about two weeks, or more precisely to come back after checking on the hives in this video to see if they’ve more or less doubled in size, which is what I want to see.

Specifically, the weak colony in the video was given two frames of capped brood from the strong colony. Most of that brood will have emerged by the time I check on them again in two weeks. Two frames of brood should at least double the number of bees in the weak colony. Supposedly, one frame of brood equals three frames of bees, but the two frames weren’t jammed packed with capped brood, so I’m thinking five or six frames of new bees in total, maybe. Add it all up and what it means is that I want the weak colony that looks this…

A weak colony of maybe three frames of bees and hardly any brood (May 10th, 2020.)

…to have as many bees on the frames as the strong colony that looks like this:

As a strong colony with ten frames of bees (May 10th, 2020.)

So come back in two weeks and we’ll see. I also plan to check on the strong colony to see if the empty medium super I gave it is full of brood. That would also be great. Am I setting myself up for disappointment? Maybe. It depends on the rain.

In the meantime, here’s a review of what’s in the video:

00:05 — A peek inside a weak colony with tons of honey. Discussion about the small cluster, three frames of bees at the most and a tiny circle of capped brood, moisture in the hive, over-feeding syrup in the fall, rearranging the frames with more drawn comb for the queen.
01:28 — A peek inside a stronger colony with 10 frames of bees and at least two frames of capped brood, though not edge-to-edge capped brood. This episode of show-and-tell is mostly telling, not much showing.
01:54 — A review of everything I saw in the two hives. Discussion of moving capped brood from a stronger colony to weaker colony.
02:55 — Sugar bricks not eaten by the bees, a shot of the sugar all over the bottom board, discussion of how I got into feeding the bees sugar in the winter and how I might get out of that practice.
04:00 — More discussion of colony strength and moving brood, etc.
05:00 — Discussion of using nine frames in the brood box and trading my deeps and deep frames of drawn comb with someone for mediums and medium frames of drawn comb in my effort to convert to all-medium hives.
06:15 — Examining a wet frame full of syrup that was fed to the bees in the fall that the bees didn’t have time to cap. All that uncapped syrup may have added moisture to the hive during the winter (along with snow).
08:25 — Discussion of not using duct tape to seal cracks in the hives over the winter because maybe the tape keeps the moisture in?
10:29 — A quick visit the next day to add a solid inner cover to hive to keep more heat in for the brood.