What We Expected
We expected to see more brood capped over in the Swarm and Wood hive and signs of them taking advantage of the beautiful weather. We had no other expectations of the Green or Witch Hive beyond just hopes for honey production.
What We Saw
The Wood Hive shows signs of laying queen with fresh eggs and a good brood pattern. The bottom box has not really been used, however. It seems as though they're waiting for the first generation of new bees to emerge. They have propolised up the Flow Frames as well.
Swarm Hive has bees and they are storing honey and pollen. We did not get eyes on the queen, but we have seen here eggs. There was a concern that we did not see eggs being capped, though we are seeing some signs of them being fed.
Green Hive is super strong with full activity in all three brood supers, with laying happening primarily in the middle brood super. The top brood super has been cleared of some of its honey and laying is occurring in the bottom center of the middle frames. We did see a beautiful frame of honey in the top super that is nearly ripe for taking. They had a lot of drones and drones cells on some frames, indicating their health and dominant genetic presence.
What We Did
We mostly just inspected the bees, trying to assess where they're at, knowing we're more or less at a stopping point for a while. It won't be unless something happens to their queen or they stay start making a lot of honey that we'll need to intervene at all.
The bees did begin to attack us at a couple points, getting very aggressive, especially the hives that are strong with honey. We weren't as generous with the smoker as we could have been, however, and given the 4-5 boxes on each hive, we had them open longer than usual.
What We’ll Do
There's nothing more we can do right now for Wood Hive. We expect to see an expanded presence of bees in the bottom box on our next visit, probably with new comb. We hope to see comb built up on the Flow Frames soon.
For Swarm Hive, we're continuing to not intervene or provide additional support, but we do hope to see capped workers on our next visit to confirm they have the means to expand. If not, given the lateness of the summer, we'll like combine them back with Witch Hive.
On our next visit, we'll really prioritize looking at the Witch Hive as we missed out this time around due to heat and bee attacks. We'll also take the full honey frame in the Green Hive and attempt to harvest for the first time.