After many weeks of leaving the bees to their own devices I opened them up to reduce their hIves down for winter, and to treat them again for mites. I opened White Hive up first, and was dismayed to find virtually no honey stores in either of the two deep boxes. The super I put on actually weighed more than the lighter of the deeps. I shuffled the frames around so that the majority of the important frames were in the bottom deep box. There was plenty of pollen (lots on all of the frames) but only about 1.5 frames worth of honey through the entire hive. Normally I would take the super off for winter, but given the lack of honey anywhere else I chose to leave it on. I didn’t fully close the hive up once I was done with the inspection, because I needed to put the treatment on as well, but I wanted to do that for both hives at the same time.
Green Hive had even less honey in it, but significantly more bees. After rearranging the frames there were about 8.5 solid frames of brood, and two solid frames of pollen in the top box. They had occupied enough frames in the second deep box that unfortunately I couldn’t removed it today. I just switched frames between the boxes so that the majority of the brood cluster was in the top box, and as many frames in the lower box were either occupied or fully drawn out with wax. Egg production in white hive has definitely slowed, but not so much in green hive. We’re headed into the hottest part of the summer, with fall only 7 or 8 weeks away, so I know I’ll be feeding them all winter. Green hive had 6 or 7 swarm cells on one of the frames in the lower box which I thought was weird they looked like they had been hastily drawn out, and some of them were a decent size, but none were occupied by a developing queen.
I did see a varroa mite on a couple of bees in White Hive which was annoying but expected. I decided to use MAQS for this treatment, and applied two in each colony once I had finished the inspection. The bees were NOT happy about this treatment at all and came bubbling out of the roof of Green Hive as soon as I’d put the second hive body back on. The bees in White Hive have all been hanging out on the front of the hive since I put the treatment in.
All in all things aren’t looking so great but at least I’ve got my feeders ready to go!