All in hive visit
Going through the hives, we were looking for signs of continued laying, good populations, and honey stores for the winter. Sadly, we saw many tiny red dots of the dreaded Varroa destructor. It appeared as those each hive had some degree of infestation.
The bees appeared to be concentrating themselves into smaller sections of their hives. Whereas in the past they may have spanned 3 boxes, they were now focused more between 1-2 boxes.
After years of trying, we’re finally at a place where we can comfortable grab some honey from our hard working ladies!
Curious the check on Witch Hive and grab a frame of honey, Caitlin and I headed out to the field just before sunset to try and beat the heat.
It was well into the mid-high 90s, but we braved the heat to check on our hives. Happy to see they were doing well, albeit perhaps a little irritable with the summer sun shining in their boxes.
Following the official start of summer, we were delighted to see four hives and four queens, all strong and working hard to make lots of honey for the season!
Another inspection of the four hives shows some mixed results, but overall, progress is moving forward into the summer weeks.
When checking on the status of the apiary, we saw that the Witch Hive was preparing to swarm. As such, we took actions to keep our investment of bees and expand to a fourth colony.
After about a week without any intervention, we saw a break in a number of rainy days and decided to head out to set up some new hardware for the hives.
After Caitlin’s solo visit, we got together for another visit to check on the queenright status of the Wood Hive.
After a little break, Caitlin and I went to check on the status of the newly laying queens, hoping to see a healthy sprawl of eggs and worker cells.
As the first full fledged hive visit of the season, Caitlin and I looked inside each box for signs of the queens starting to lay their first eggs of the season.
After waiting 3 days for the bees to settle, Caitlin and I visited the hives to make sure the queens were alive and well and, if necessary, remove them from their cages so they can get to work laying!
Hives setup and bees installed!
Caitlin picked up with three packages of bees from Best Bees in the South End and brought them to Rock Meadow. We brought the them to the previously set up boxes (two 10 frames and one 8 frame).