September 02, 2010

State of the Hive

An unusual black honeybee. It also displayed unusual behavior by taking nectar from both the garlic chives and the sedum.

The colony is living on 22 combs. The brace comb indicates honey stores start at #15.

Random shot of bees through the observation window.

Pretty clean inside, but there is a varroa mite smack dab on the back of a bee near the middle of this shot. I need to remember to not spray them with water, so I can dust them with powdered sugar.

#22: last comb in the hive. This was a comb we'd pulled out in May. We'd cut off the left lobe, which was drone broody, and stored the nectar-filled part in the freezer until we returned it to the hive on 8/6. It's somewhat disappointing to find that they have not built it out.

#21: a baby comb. We'll give the bees a few more weeks to finish building out 22 and 21 but if the Fall nectar flow is not strong and they make no progress, we'll pull these combs out of the hive. (Last Winter, we found out that since the honey area is not heated, condensation forms back there and the combs get moldy.)

Full comb of honey being worked on. Even though 6 combs (15-20) should be plenty to get them through Winter, we'll probably hang a "comb" of fondant behind #20, followed by the falseback, in our Winterization procedures later this month.


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