Good News And The August Dearth

I am happy to say I no longer think the bees will swarm. There must be a dearth in this area because the bees seem to have gone through some of their honey stores. And there are just over two frames of pollen. One frame was solid pollen stores on both sides. With the lack of nectar coming in the bees are storing the pollen where the honey usually goes, i.e. the edges of the frames. They still have at least 9 frames of honey though. And if last year is anything to go by, there should be a slight flow starting up again before long. I got bored a few days ago and read through some of my old posts and found that the same time last year there was a ton of pollen coming into the hive, but very little nectar. I had to feed last years bees, so I think it’s the size of the current colony (the work force to gather what little nectar is available at the moment) and their good amount of honey stores that’s keeping them going now.

Egg laying has gone down, possibly in response to the slower income of food. I’d say there were maybe 3 or 4 frames with eggs on them, and all of them had a nice solid pattern to them. And there were only two queen cups in the hive today. Both were closer to the middle of the frame. And they looked kind of hastily drawn out too because they came right off the tops of the comb. The bees hadn’t even tried to sink the cups down closer to the foundation like they usually do. I know the queen is still in there though because I did find her, not to mention there were several frames of freshly lain eggs. She’s mostly in the top box by the look of things. Which makes wonder if maybe I shouldn’t switch the boxes so she’s in the bottom box?

Because if the bees stay in the top box at the start of winter, they’re going to have to work harder to stay warm as they move down into the second box as they eat through their stores.

Anyway. The bees had drawn back out the drone cells I’d squished last week, and there were already freshly lain eggs in them. I squished them again. With around 50 drones running around the hive just before winter, I don’t think they need any more.

My aunt came over yesterday, the one who lives on an acre, and suggested putting a hive on her property. It wouldn’t be ideal since I won’t really be able to work either of the hives as if I had two, since she lives a 45 minute drive away. But at the very least I will have two, so if there is an emergency I will be able to do something. So I’ll be making the split next year, probably sometime towards the end of April. I think I’ll just cut the hive in half, as in, taking the top box and putting it on a new stand. I’ll probably rearrange the frames between the two boxes, so there is an equal amount of stores and larvae in both boxes. And I’ll probably keep the new hive here until I’m sure they have a laying queen. Transportation should be fun!


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