Tuesday, October 1, 2013

End of the 10-Frame Hive

I've thought about this and studied about this and don't have any definite answers.  But we went into the 10-frame hive today and it had bees inside, and lots of pretty comb, but no eggs, no brood, no honey, and no queen.  Just lots of worker bees and drones.

The best idea I can come up with is that they swarmed, and the ones that stayed didn't make a queen.  Or else they got weak and another hive robbed them out.  Some of the comb looks torn.  But there's no drone cells or no laying workers.  And there's a robbing screen on the front.  So I figure the bees that were in there were after the syrup in the top feeder.  I had put a screened oil-tray small hive beetle trap underneath the hive, and there were lots of beetles in the oil.  I guess the beetles got in there and since there wasn't anything for them to eat, they ended up in the oil tray.

So here's the 10-frame hive now:

There's some perfect comb in the deeps, so I'll stick them in the freezer for a few days and save them for next spring.  If I catch a swarm or do a split, that comb will be useful.

I'll probably use the boxes for swarm traps.  I think I'm going to go all 8-frame hives.  If my back keeps going at the rate it's going, I may go to medium brood boxes and shallow supers.

On a positive note, there's still lots of goldenrod and other flowers blooming, and the bees are bringing in tons of pollen.