Wednesday, April 17, 2013
A Very Productive Day
Ok I am done waxing poetic about Missouri. At least one of our senators voted the right way today. I should do a salute to Senator Blunt tomorrow.
The first good news of the day is of course the defeat of NOT-(Fine)-Stien's gun control grab!!! Of course the Liberal/Feminist will never stop so I am sure it will come up again...and again...
Today was almost entirely a bee maintenance day. The temps are suppose to drop once again down to near or at freezing levels tomorrow so I had to fill up the feeders. Also this was a good day to finally take a peak into that feral hive I got a few weeks ago. This way if I really pissed em off they will be confined inside for a few days to get over it and I may escape pissed off bee retribution when I am outside in the garden.
I can tell you this much those bees are not the original inhabitants of that hive. As I began prying old falling apart frames out I noticed several old wasp and mud dauber nests inside that had been covered with propolis. Obviously the wasps and daubers had lived in there at some point when bees didn't. There was also a dead mouse that had been perfectly preserved in bee propolis and so much old black comb everywhere.
It was remarkably relatively free of burr comb though. I ended up replacing out the two medium boxes that had almost completely fallen apart, reused any serviceable frames that I could and flat out removed two medium boxes and frames that were too far gone or not being used currently. The extra old frames will be used in swarm traps. The girls actually had a few half frames of capped honey either left over or recently stored. I did not make it into the large brood chamber box but removed one frame and saw some larva so I know they have a queen. Eventually the large brood box will need replacing but I am going to wait until they build up a bit more for that. That hive is now pretty much taken care of for a few months and down to the proper space for their numbers. I did not notice any swarm cells. My bet is with the lean Winter we had it will be at least a month or more before I see any swarms around here.
The survivor hive that almost died out had a lot more activity today than even a week ago and more bees came out when I opened the top to feed them. They still haven't gone through much syrup however and I saw no pollen going into the hive. Another week and I will fully inspect them and look for the queen and make the final call on their fate.
The rest of the day was spent putting together another three swarm traps and cleaning out the last two brood chambers from this Winter's hive losses. At this point splits are still entirely out of the question as the hives are way too weak for that and the temps are still sinking too low. Perhaps if the rains continue May might be a good time for some splits or I might just rely on swarms for any hive growth this year.
It's still too early to tell but I doubt very much I will see any swarms soon.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!