Sunday, May 29, 2011

Recent visit

So a quick update here,
I took a look at the hives and they seem to be doing well. I must admit that I was feeling a little nervous because of getting stung the last time, and I felt a little more jumpy. Kinda like getting back on a bicycle after having a fall. I'm glad to say that everything went well, though.
Both hives seem to have the SHB numbers under control, and the swarm cell I saw the other day is still uncapped, and I don't think it contained an egg.
When I pulled a frame from the bigger hive it was quite heavy, and when it came out all the way could see why. Even though the bees had not fully drawn all the comb to fill the frame, it was predominately drone brood, both capped and hatched, and a number of the furry blokes were hanging out on the frame. My nerves were still bugging me, so I made the stupid mistake of tilting the frame away from me, instead of flipping it around. Because the bottom and parts of the sides of the comb were not attached to the frame the comb itself began to bend and tilt out, getting close to breaking and falling out. However, I corrected myself quickly enough and avoided certain disaster. I felt pretty stupid about it, though.
I now realize that I think it will be worth reinforcing the foundationless frames with toothpicks, just as I had with the frames that were filled with wax sheet foundation.
Toothpicks, broken in half, and inserted through the little holes in the sides of the frame through the wax.
The bees reinforce this themselves by molding the wax sheets around the toothpicks and bridging the space between the edge of the wax and the inside edge of the frame. I think it might be worth inserting the toothpicks into the the frames that will have starter strips and no foundation. I am curious to see how the bees will react when they get to the toothpicks as they build the comb down.
Both hives had some activity in the upper hive body, but not a whole lot. I hope that in another week I should see more comb building going on.

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