Sunday, March 28, 2010


We visited the hive today with the goal of swapping the two main bodies.  Bees tend to move up the hive and we want them to stay low when the queen starts to form brood and work up through the season.  This will also help to keep the brood cells low so that the "Supers" on top are only used for honey storage (and hopefully harvesting by us!)

We first removed the one Super we had on the hive.  Last summer we had put it on with a queen excluder between it and the 2 hive bodies.  The excluder is to keep the queen from laying brood in the Super but it seemed to keep all of the bees from doing anything up there.  We eventually removed the queen excluder but they still never really showed any interest.  We are removing it now until later in the summer.  After it was off we used the hive tool to unstick the hive bodies and lifted the top one off.  I was very surprised how many bees were around and how heavy the top body was.  It was obviously very full of honey still and it really looks like our bees did a good job getting through the winter as their numbers are high even though it's doubtful any new brood has emerged yet this year. 

The lower hive body was much lighter as we swapped their positions.  It was about 56 degrees and the bees were very active.  We didn't smoke them and they really seemed to be annoyed at us, flying into our masks all of the time and landing on us quite often.  We really were not set to inspect the individual frames without the smoker going so we'll leave that to later.  The bees also would not leave the Super we took off so we left it sitting by the hive hoping they'll leave by the next few days when we come back.

All in all we think our hive is going to do good this year.  Their number are good already and things have not even started blooming.  When we installed them last year most of the fruit trees had already passed their blooming.  We hope that our friends will see better fruit production this year as a result. 

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