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Thursday, June 5, 2014

I think I've made a huge mistake.

Ideally, I would've liked to postpone my inspection of the hives until Saturday, but I've a beekeeping meeting that day and tons of work tomorrow and the rest of the weekend. So after the rain finally stopped today, I opened them up.

Hippolyte
They have really propolised the bars all the way up to the divider. Lots of eggs, larvae, and capped brood. Even had a bar of uncapped drone brood. I'm guessing it was drone brood anyway because of the size of the cells. Each bar has a nice band of capped honey at the top, and the first bar is chock full of pollen.

Looks like drone comb to me.

Lots of brood and a nice honey band at the top.

Probably one of the few times I'll be able to find the queen.
 Last week, I cut a bit of cross comb off of a bar. This week, the same bar had another piece of slightly cross comb. I debated cutting it off, but it looked like the bees were trying to connect it to the rest of the comb on that bar instead of to the next bar. I probably should've removed it, but it really looks more crooked than cross, so I took the lazy way out and just flipped the bar around. I'm hoping that simply narrowing the bee space between that bar and the one next to it will motivate the bees to fix it on their own.


Austeja
I'd been keeping some extra bars under Austeja's roof, and when I picked them up to move them out of the way, I uncovered a huge ant nest. Yuck!!! I was so skeeved brushing off the ants and their grubs... Ugh! They were gross, and they kept running all over my arms while I was trying to inspect the bees. Maybe I've spent too much time around fire ants in Florida, but ants freak me out.

I think the bees picked up on my feelings toward the ants because they were soooo unhappy while I inspected them. The way they kept bumping me, I fully expected to get stung. I was pleasantly disappointed, though.

Not quite as much propolis as the other hive, but they have far fewer bees. On the other hand, they have more & bigger combs (on 8 bars compared to Hippolyte's 7). I think they also have more capped brood.

Lots of brood, though not quite as much honey as the other hive.

Austeja's queen

Ok, so what did I do wrong?
Because they're both building comb like gangbusters, I added several empty bars between combs. Of course, as soon as I closed them up, I realized that I've probably jumped the gun. Since I don't have any new bees emerging yet, I may not have enough population to cover the brood. In fact, I won't have any brood emerging until next Friday at the earliest. I hate to go back in, but I think I may remove all but one empty bar in each hive tomorrow.

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