Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Reversed hive bodies
Well, it was over 60 degrees and sunny today. I thought we would just switch out the sugar water feeder, but found it was still very heavy. So, since it was so nice, we fired up the smoker and decided to reverse #1 and #3 hive bodies. Bees were really flying, though about the only thing I am aware of that is blooming is some crocuses and a couple blossoming dandelions. There may be some early trees but I don't know what exactly.
We took the top super off, which houses the feeder, then removed the inner cover. There were a lot of bees. I removed one frame from the middle to examine. There were still capped honey cells, though there were many empty ones as well. We pulled the top hive body off and set it aside. It was still quite heavy. We saw some larvae, always a good sign. I pulled out the middle one, which was also pretty heavy, and more larvae. After pulling the bottom off the bottom board, we needed to clean that off since there were still matted bees over about 1/4th of it. We moved quickly but carefully, put everything back together and then left them alone.
Very impressed with these bees. There were thousands in the hive, remarkable. We will have to watch closely when there is a pollen run because they might want to swarm, but having switched the hive bodies I feel a lot better. The bottom one was very light, and now is on top so they will have some work to do filling that one out. Then we will need to split in late April, when our queen arrives. We have ordered a Minnesota hygenic queen. They are supposed to be very well behaved and mite resistant. We will keep our fingers crossed.