Full Hives And Honey To Spare

I went and checked on my aunts bees today. They’re both doing extremely well, with lots of honey in each of them. One is doing a little better than the other, and that’s the one that was given two boxes of comb fully drawn out at the start of the year. The hive pieces were different (internally) from the other hive body, or I would’ve given both colonies a box of comb to work with. The colony that got the head start has filled in 2.5 boxes, and the top box had several frames of solid honey, freshly capped in white. I moved some of those full frames into the last empty box to encourage them to fill it in.
The colony that started with empty boxes is doing just fine, but they aren’t very interested in expanding beyond the two boxes they’ve filled in. So I moved the honey frames from each box into the two empty boxes, meaning all 4 boxes have 4 fully drawn frames in each of them. This smaller colony had a single swarm cell partially drawn out, with a 3 day old larvae inside. I squished it and saw plenty of room for new eggs since a frame had just emerged, so I don’t expect to see more signs of swarming from them any time soon.

All of the honey in both hives was black berry, and a few pieces of wax were drawn out incorrectly so I cut them out. The honey they contained wasn’t completely ripe yet, so it did taste a little funny, but it was still very sweet. In one box the bees were drawing the wax up from the top bars of the box below, so I cut those large pieces out and used the flat side of my knife to squish the wax into a top bar that hadn’t been used. The bees should correct any errors in the wax that was squished and finish drawing out the rest of the frame.

Given how quickly all of the hives have grown I’m going to try making my own hive boxes and frames in the next week or so, for both hive styles. The warre is going to be a lot easier, so I think I’ll try that first.

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2 responses to “Full Hives And Honey To Spare”

  1. Emily Scott says :

    Just one queen cell might mean they’re trying to supersede her, usually they’ll make 5+ queen cells for swarming. There’s a good explanation of the different types of queen cells here: https://pembsbeekeepers.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/wag_queen_cellseng.pdf

    Making your own hive boxes sounds exciting!

    • willowbatel says :

      Yeah, this cell was in the traditional swarm cell location; right on the bottom corner of a frame at the edge of the brood nest. It was very hastily drawn out and had very smooth sides, but the larvae in it was a few days old and swimming in royal jelly. I thought it was weird they only drew out one but they definitely have the resources to swarm successfully.

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