Hive Expansion Complete
I finally had time (at the right time of day) to add the new hive body. I pulled the drawn out frames from the edges of the two deep boxes already on the hive and replaced those with the empty frames from the new hive body. I also decided to put the new hive box in between the old two, so that I could rotate out one of the old ones at the end of the year. I want to paint all of them green, and I also want to try and have the majority of the comb be new next year. Most of the comb in the hive is several years old and a gross black color.
There were a lot more brood combs than last time, which I was excited about. There were 8 brood frames in the lower hive body alone. They definitely need this new box. I only replaced 3 frames each in the two old hive bodies, and left 4 new ones in the new hive body. Most of the brood is in the bottom box, with only a few hundred capped cells being on the edges of the frames in the top brood box. The bees hadn’t moved into the super at all, which is slightly frustrating. Brace comb was everywhere again though, so I know that they’re capable of drawing out wax.
We’re currently experiencing a heat wave, with temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s. It hasn’t rained in close to two weeks, so I’m not sure how much longer we’ll be having a nectar flow. It’s also supposed to be like this for a few weeks. That said, I have noticed a significant increase in all insect species this year. I have more than 6 different kinds of solitary bees nesting in logs in my garden, red soldier beetles, and 2 kinds of bumblebees still visit the garden daily. We also have 4 dragon flies in the garden constantly, and today while I was working with the bees a black butterfly, with blue fringes on its wings, flew right into the middle of the bees to see what was going on. I haven’t seen one like it in a few years.
I think this color green is fantastic. It’s darker than white but still a bright color, and its something that kind of blends with a garden from a distance, I think. Slowly over the next year or so I hope to have the whole thing painted.
Also shown in this picture is a carrot (in the top right corner with all those weird spiky things) that I allowed to go to seed. Carrots grow wild in my garden and the flowers are great mating spots for lady bugs and red soldier beetles. Both are great predators for aphids, and are very welcome in my garden!