Where’s All The Wax?
I opened my hives up yesterday, just to make sure neither of them were thinking about swarming. Everything is going really well! There were only a couple of swarm cells in each colony, and they both are stuffed full of honey. The only thing preventing growth in both of them is available wax. They both have plenty of space for growth (and last week I added my only super onto the swarm hive because I had nothing else to give them) but they aren’t building wax very quickly because the blackberry flow has stopped. The strong colony has so much pollen its ridiculous. I’ve actually never seen so much in a colony before. There were two completely solid frames of pollen in the bottom box. The queen has definitely slowed down laying eggs, but the brood nest is only slightly smaller. Honey is being stored throughout the brood nest. Around some of the frames that haven’t been completely drawn out yet the full frames next to them have cells that are almost 2 inches deep. Instead of filling out the empty frames the bees just add onto the stuff they’ve already drawn out, so the honey band around the edge of the frames is just twice as deep as usual. I don’t really know how to correct it without destroying the honey sections.
In other news! I need more hive boxes, and instead of spending a couple hundred dollars buying finished ones, I decided to be adventurous and build my own. The warre hives my cousin built have windows in them, so we took the same concept and applied it to the langstroth. So I built two window boxes for my langstroth and two boxes for the warre! All it cost was $70 for the boxes, and then another $50 for the frames for my boxes. The warre has half frames that are very easily built at home. Langstroth frames are fancier and I didn’t have any to use as a template, so I figured buying them would be easier. So that puts the total cost for 2 warre hives at $17.50 a box, and total cost for 2 langstroth boxes with frames at $42.50 a box. A quick online search shows that from a reputable supplier, a single deep langstroth box costs $62.50, and that’s without windows. I have yet to find somewhere that even sells windowed boxes like these for langstroth. So all in all I’m very excited! I’ll post pictures as soon as they’re finished.