This one looked like it was a primary hive. Not only did it have proper layers of brood and honey, but it had a marked queen inside. It also looked like it had been in there for quite some time judging by the amount of propolis and burr comb inside.
It’s perfectly “healthy” for them, it will just give to very small and very weak swarms. The lower numbers also makes them more vulnerable to diseases and pests and especially the cold come winter.
Saw a really neat plexiglass observation hive in an apple orchard by my grandparents house. I spotted the queen on the back side but she buried herself in the masses of bees shortly after.
They are super packed in there and my hope is that they won’t swarm out before it gets too late. A swarm this size this late will inevitably fail…
This was a big week for our hives! We spent Saturday pulling honey, shaking each frame free of bees before taking them inside to be spun in our extractor. Despite having only one hive, we managed to pull between 5 and 6 gallons again this year. Nefertiti’s hive was very productive!
We also did some basic hive maintenance and tested for varroa.
Lastly, we said goodbye to Queen Ophelia and Queen Nefertiti. We installed new queens Thursday morning. Please welcome Queen Persephone and Queenie!!
My latest beemoval was a bit of a weird one. After failing to locate the bees in the floor or wall spaces directly around the entrance, I was showed to a crawl space so tight that none of my equipment could fit through. And as fate would have it, the bees were in the furthest corner from the entrance, behind some vent ducts and plumbing and across a whole lot of construction debris. I had to get creative!
So instead of trying to cut them out from the outside, I took a much harder but less destructive approach. I took a half-stuffed smoker and some bee go, and got right up by them. I sprayed a ring of bee-go around them on the inside then proceeded to pump as much smoke as I could right in to them. The rear combs cleared off instantly, and the rest of them were clear of bees in about 30 minutes. I just sat the smoker below them so that smoke would slowly rise up in to them as I cut out the combs. Since I couldn’t bring frames, boxes, or even buckets down there with me, I had to improvise a small tarp with a pillow case. I used the pillow case to set the comb on and drag as I army-crawled out backwards. Three trips later and I had all the comb out and framed up in a box I set just outside. I sprayed a lot of bee go in to the area they were in to make sure they left and stayed out. I then simply vacuumed them all up off the outside and was done! Now the new crawlspace beebees are in my bee yard orienting to their new home~
I dreamt I discovered a new social bee that looked a lot like a leafcutter but the queen was iridescent gold and they had brood/pollen/honey pots instead of honeycomb like bumblebees do. Their colonies were also super small like bumblebees.
I am pretty sure that they aren’t swarming. At least not with a completely empty box on top of them.
Though if they are they’d better do it soon because if they throw a swarm too late it won’t survive.