Saturday, March 10, 2012

Inspection, Moving, and More

Got to go into the hive today and moved it to a more sunny spot.  Overall I think things went ok. I didn't really know what I was going to find, so it was a real adventure. I didn't get as much done as I wanted to, as time was working against us toady.  But there will always be another day.

I started by preparing the next site for the hive. I tried to get it level, but it's probably got a little slant to it, and it will probably settle some. But it's close, I think.

Got the equipment down to the hive and got the smoker going. Got suited up. Here's me (right) and Dad (left) ready for bees:

I took the top off and looked in. Lots of sugar left and about half a pollen patty. This picture is of the top frames after I took the medium off that had been around the sugar. The sugar had been to the left of the picture where the newspaper remnants are:

They had started building some comb up in the empty area.

I took the sugar out. I was surprised the newspaper held it. I was afraid the newspaper would be mush and split and all the sugar would go down through the hive.

I pulled out the two side frames (I guess you would call them either 1 and 2 or 9 and 10). The inside of the inside frame was mostly drawn, but there was 1 1/2 sides that they hadn't drawn out yet. Also, it was like that in the bottom box too, but I'll get to that in a minute. Here's a picture of the inside of frame two (the inner most frame I pulled out):

The comb looks really white and well formed, but it is a little bit wide (going into the empty space where the opposite side of the next frame is not drawn out).

Oh, there are two things to mention here. Up to this point, there were several times that we had to walk away. The bees were not happy at all. And, walking away seemed to calm them down.

Then, the smoker ran out of fuel. Walk away again (a little quicker this time). I went up to the house to get some more fuel for the smoker, then I realized the fuel was in the tool box at the hive.

Back to the tool box and fuel in the smoker. I also learned that a smoker will stay really hot for a while after the fuel is gone. ouch! 

Anyways, got the smoker going again, (I'll probably get another one. This lid is really hard to get on, especially when it is hot).

Being short on time, I put those two frames back in and tried to get the top box off of the bottom box. Wow. That propolis is some strong stuff! It took both of us (me lifting and him hive-tooling) to get the boxes separated. And they had built some comb connecting the bottom box frames to the top box frames. We lifted and twisted and it finally came loose. Whew!

More unhappy bees and we walked away again.

When we got back to the hive, here is what I saw:

Since it had been so hard to get the two boxes apart and it was getting late, I didn't get to pull any frames out of the bottom box. I wanted to get it off the Screened Bottom Board (SBB) and get that cleaned off and get everything moved. I was curious about those worm looking things on top of the frames, though.  Right now I'm not sure what they are. The bees were just walking all around them though and not paying them any attention.

The bottom box frames were full in the middle. The outer two on each side were barely drawn out. But it looked like they were strong and vigorous in the middle 6 frames on both levels, and it looked like they were starting to draw out comb on the next frames out.

We got everything moved and the boxes restacked and the top on. A lot of the bees were still at the old "residence" but hopefully once all the smoke clears and they can smell the house, maybe they'll get back. I moved the hive maybe 10 feet (or maybe a little more).

Oh, the good news is that I didn't see one hive beetle. I'm sure it's just a matter of time before they find me. But, I was very happy about that.

So, the hive is moved, no hive beetles, and no stings. I didn't get a picture of the hive after it was moved as the battery was dead in the phone. I'll do that tomorrow.  Hopefully next week I can go in and worry more about pulling frames instead of moving the hive.

Oh, one more thing, I got the Yellow Jacket trap up today.  I mixed up the ingredients about a week ago and it's been "curing" and I think it's ripe now.  I hung it from an old a-frame that I have an anemometer and rain gauge on.  The black spot between the y and the j is the entrance hole.  The black things inside the jug are bits of banana.

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