4 Deeps & A Surprise
I didn’t realize exactly how long it had been since I checked on the bees until I peaked in on them today. They have FILLED the super and third deep with honey. I’ll likely have to take the super off before the end of July because they have capped more than half of the honey in it already. The third deep box is 50% capped at least. I was planning on splitting the hive today because I knew they would be close to packed by now, so I was only slightly surprised to find 13 swarm cells on a frame. Deep box #2 had full frames of capped brood and lots of pollen so they were certainly well prepared for a swarm.
the bottom box was ominously light, and the first three frames I picked up were almost completely empty. The fourth frame had a small cluster of capped brood that was closer to emerging than being capped on one side. On the other side was a supercedure call that had very obviously been used and partially removed. I searched all of the frames in the hive but I didn’t see the new or old queens, but on the frame next to the supercedure cell there was a cluster of 4-5 day old larvae.
I suppose the good news in all of this is that it breaks up the varroa mite’s lifecycle. I had pulled a frame of drone brood from the colony the last time I worked with them and put it in the freezer. I took it out of the freezer today to put back in the colony and found several mite’s had crawled out onto the cell caps while they were in the freezer. The last time I checked on the bees I saw several mites and had planned to treat them next week once it was consistently warm enough. I’ll wait to treat them now that the queen has been replaced, but I would still like to get a second colony so I know I’ll have bees next year. Oh and I forgot to mention I added another deep box to the hive. I’m worried they’ll fill in the brood best with honey before the new queen has a chance to properly start laying, so I’m giving them more room to deter that.
Here’s a pic of two frozen mites on capped drone brood (see top left corner and bottom right corner). And here’s my beehive!