Three Official Hives

The bees in Trunchen hive seem to be doing exceptionally well, and were in desperate need of room. Pulling all of the comb apart to get a good look was out of the question, so I settled for just pulling the boxes apart and examining the bottoms of each comb. 4 or 5 had capped brood, and no swarm cells were visible. That’s one thing I really like about this hive style, if the bees are going to swarm, the cells will be drawn out right where you can see them on the bottoms of the comb. I added a box to the bottom of the hive; I was going to add a second box, but since this hive will go to my aunts I didn’t want to have to deal with moving that many boxes. If the hive was going to be moved today I would’ve just until it had moved, but given the lack of space I think having the third box on until the weekend will be good.

Moving on to the top box of the white hive, I was excited to see lots and lots of honey being ripened. On the 5th frame I found the new queen, along with half a frame of eggs. Pollen and honey are abundant, so this colony should do well. If I had the extra boxes I would’ve added one on because the amount of honey was definitely constricting. There were three frames untouched on the edges though, so I moved those in. The queen is plump from laying all of her eggs and was a consistent, beautiful golden color. I wish I was able to take pictures! My mom got home right as I found her so I walked over and showed her off, haha. I plan on moving this box to where Trunchen Hive currently is, so the field bees from Trunchen Hive have somewhere convenient to go.

Now that its time to do all this moving around I’m starting to wonder how its all going to work, given I only have enough roofs and floors for one hive, haha. I may need to do some emergency shopping…

I tried peaking into the bottom box of White Hive, but the bees were extrememly unhappy to have the confused field bees of the upper box landing on their frames, and several bees were actively trying to rip the fur off of them. I decided to give it up, since the frames were stuck together too well to just quickly scan the middle frames for eggs. The large population makes me think there’s an active queen. I quickly replaced the telescoping cover, and the burlap the covers the hole so the field bees from the top box could land safely again. The bees in the top box had successfully chewed a hole through a part of the burlap (and were struggling to remove it from the entrance when I first opened things up), and the bees in the bottom box had tried half heartedly to chew through the bit exposed through the telescoping cover. I folded the piece in half again, so that it’s now four layers thick, and covered the hole. I put the top box back on the telescoping cover and angled it so that the back corner on the right side (when viewed from the back) hangs over the edge. The field bees happily reentered their home, and I put the roof back on as well. I decided to put a small piece of wood in between the roof and the frames in the ‘back’ of the box (its actually the front of the hive, i.e the side of the box viewable from the house and where the bottom box’s entrance is, but because the entrance for the top box is opposite the lower box, its the back. Confusing, I know) because the bees are definitely too hot in the current set up and the extra space should allow more airflow. The bees were fanning air into the hive through their small main entrance on the right, and their even smaller unintentional entrance on the left. The bottom box had fanners at their door, and there were about twice as many bees working to cool Trunchen Hive. It was 80 today, and much too hot for my liking. It should only ever get to 75 in my opinion. Theres a reason I live in a state where it rains 9 months out of the year!

So yeah, I finally have three hives in my life again. Eventually I would like to take all of the bees out of the top box on White Hive and put them into a Warre’ Hive, but that may take some finagling so that there isn’t another break in egg laying. I definitely don’t want to go into the winter with too few bees. We’ll see how it goes!


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4 responses to “Three Official Hives”

  1. Derek says :

    How long did it take to extract the honey using the wine press ?

    • willowbatel says :

      Oh, I don’t remember… I don’t think it was more than a couple hours. It was a big improvement from my previous method of squishing the wax by hand and then cooking the honey in an oven to get the wax to melt and float on the top.
      It would’ve gone faster if I had had more space to work with and was able to set the fruit press up onto something, so that I didn’t have to hold all of the jars under the edge where the honey came out.

      • Derek says :

        Thanks have been looking to build my own to help save the mess made at the moment.

        Great site .

        • willowbatel says :

          yeah, I like it because you get so much wax from it and it’s supposed to be one of the best ways to keep the honey as flavorful as possible because it keeps contact with the air at a minimum.

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