Saturday, April 9, 2011
Today started pretty cool, in the low 40's, but warmed well into the 80's by afternoon. I decided to check both hives to see if I needed to add a super yet. As you can see, they were really flying. The bees were making a steady move up and under the outer cover, carrying huge loads of pollen, some light colored and some a bright yellow.
I started with the 2nd hive, which had the most activity and seems to be slightly stronger at this point, though it could just be the behavior of this hive is a bit different. I wanted to check the frames we added when we did the hive reversal to see how they were being filled out, if at all.
Bees were all over the inner cover and the top of the frames on the top hive body. The new frames seemed to be drawn out already, so I didn't hesitate to go ahead and add a honey super. Unfortunately, in my haste I had brought everything out except the queen excluders, and though there are those who prefer to call them "honey excluders", I so far haven't seen them to be a problem.
Hive #1 was not as far along, with some comb drawn out but they had a ways to go so I didn't add anything yet to that hive. If the weather holds, I'll look again later in the week. Since we may be gone for a couple weeks, I want to make sure things are in place for each hive before we leave.
One tactical error. Kirk, our neighbor (who is our resident snake catcher, by the way--bagging two today to add to his collection)--was helping supervise me. Also present was Lilly, his young golden lab, who, being less than a year old, is curious about everything and wanting to get her teeth into everything. Including the bees that were still all over the inner cover I had set aside. I chased her away once, but as soon as I quit watching she was right back trying to find out what all these little things crawling around there were about. She found out. I saw her get stung at least twice, and in quite a panic not knowing what to do about them. I did get Kirk to call her away from the bees as quick as possible. He put her in their garage, but when we saw her about an hour later we saw that poor Lilly's jaw was terribly swollen. Although she seemed in good spirits, I felt bad and can only hope she learned from the experience and will stay well away from the bees.