Thursday, November 4, 2010

Inspection report 11/4/10

Given the wingless bees i discovered last week and the fact that i didn't do a full inspection, i decided to do a pretty full inspection today, and dust with powdered sugar too.

The powdered sugar does 2 things:
* makes the mites' sticky pads lose suction, so they fall off and out of the bottom of the hive (the hive as a screened bottom)
* makes the bees clean each other off which knocks mites off

Given the recent building out (and subsequent destruction) of the top bar in the upper super, i took stock of everything in the supers to see where we stand.

F = foundation frame
FL = foundationless frame
T = top bar frame

Top super (in order, frame 1 - frame 10):
F - drawn, about 1/2 full of honey
FL - empty (no wax)
F - 1/4 drawn out with a tiny bit of honey
FL - empty
FL - hand size comb, no honey.. was not vertical, so i broke the bottom and realigned it.
FL - 4 half-hand size combs. Off center due to fat comb next door. doh.
F - Way fat and full of honey, some capped
F - Short cells due to neighboring fat frame. one side not drawn, one side has some honey
FL - empty
F - fat and full of capped honey

Lower super:
F - capped
F - capped
FL - half drawn, 1/4 honey
FL - 3/4 drawn, all that is drawn is capped honey
FL - full and capped
F - brood and honey. saw some eggs also (good sign!)
F - brood and honey
T - capped honey
FL capped honey
F capped honey

Here's how it compares to last time (10/10/10, about 1 month ago)

1: same (Capped honey)
2: same (Capped Honey)
3: same
4: fully capped now (plus 1/2 frame of honey)
5: fully capped now (plus 1/2 frame of honey)
6: same (brood)
7: same (brood)
8: a little more honey (fully capped now)
9: is now honey (was brood+honey)
10: same (capped honey)

so we've put on about a frame or so of honey since last time, and the bees have started moving to the upper super. One thing to note is that the bees seem to want to build the honey right above the brood.. the top bar in the upper super was directly above some brood, and the replacement got built out some right away (hand size piece of comb in 4 days).. I may use that slot as a comb-building slot.

I got stung about 2/3 through the middle box, and that took the fun out of the rest of the inspection: i didn't get to the bottom super at all. Stung on the pinky finger at 3:15pm, and by 5pm my whole hand and half my forearm is swollen. grr.

Update: midnight: arm from hand to elbow is swollen. darn bee.

I did dust for mites. I'll post the results of that separately.