Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hive Check Up 9/26/2009 and visit from Alexis!

Well, it rained this morning, and is still overcast. Not an ideal day for checking hives, but.. I have delayed this inspection for 2 weeks, and needed to see where things are at. Got everything laid out. My notebook, camera, hive tool, smoker, shredded aspen for smoker fuel (way too wet to use leaves), and the tool i use to hang on the side of the hives, after opened, to place frames on.


The first hive I decided to check was the pink hive.


oh and yes, there is lots of overgrown raspberry vines, etc. creeping amongst the hives.

when i opened the honey super (the top box) i didn’t see much activity on the inner cover, nor on the top of the frames

HPIM5631 HPIM5632

I started pulling out these honey frames to see how things were looking. the first frame i took out is actually number 10 as i work from right to left on this hive (as i have the table i work on to the right of the hive). hmmm not much going on with number 10 frame, a bit of  of capped honey on the back side


ninth frame had a bit more capped on both sides and more nectar.


the eighth frame (below) had a bit more going on. you can see some capped honey and more nectar both sides of the frame.


the seventh frame (both of next two pics) had even more capped honey and nectar both sides.



and the sixth frame (below looked good)


the fifth, fourth,third second and first kind of were just like if you looked at the above pics in reverse. the bees generally work the middle frames first and then work out to the sides . so this honey box looked the right way, but, for the really great nectar flow we have had, one would hope for more. our weather has been so rainy this year, i am sure that alot of days, especially with the morning rains, the plants had their nectar washed out. on the bright pretty days, the bees have been gathering lots of nectar, but i am sure have been storing a great lot of it in the brood box areas (the bottom two boxes). the brood box honey is the first source of food for the bees, and days when they are forced to stay in and eat but not gather, depletes their stores and these are the frames the bees first refill before going up to the honey supers to store. so while it doesn’t look like i will be able to harvest another full super box of honey from this hive, before winter, the fact that there is this many nearly full frames, encourages me to think that the girls are still a couple steps ahead. so i am fine with this hive right now. i don’t bother to get down in the brood boxes, at this time, as i am building a new box to replace the very bottom box of this hive right now. after it is put together and painted i will bothering this hive enough next weekend swapping the new brood box for the old. when i first started beekeeping i started with used equipment and that old brood box on this hive is pretty beat up around the edges with chunks of wood out etc. i want to snug up things a bit for the girls with the new box.

so off to the yellow hives inspection. a few more bees active in this hives honey super.


not much going on except some nectar storage on the first frame


most of the frames in this hives honey super looked like this. lots of nectar, but not alot of capped honey.



so same thing as the pink hive. the rains are effecting the everything and i might end up with about 10 more frames of honey between the two hives. i will let you know when i do my final harvest and get the bees snugged for winter.

i keep these cool rocks on my behive lids. my grandson evan painted them for me a couple years back.


last night my darling 11 year old granddaughter alexis. we had alot of fun! this is grandpa and her at the video store. they wrestled the whole way through the store!


big herbal and honey hugs to each of you who visit comfrey cottages!


La Tea Dah said...

Lovely post! I can just about taste that delicious honey from here! I enjoyed the armchair tour. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

Comfrey Cottages said...

aww you are so welcome dear! i love to share! :) hugs to you

Anke said...

That was very interesting. How long have you been keeping bees? I think it would be great to keep my own bees, but the rest of the family is not convinced... :-(

Comfrey Cottages said...

this is my third year keeping bees anke. you might let your family know that i have 17 grandchildren running around my yard, at various times, and none have ever been stung by my bees! now my hubby, he left an open coke can out while working in the yard, came back, and took a drink without looking first, and there had been a bee getting a sip first and it stung him on the lip! so, we have learned to not leave drinks outside without a lid on them:)

Anke said...

Not related to this subject, but if you would like some of my loofah seeds, I'd be happy to send you some. Just let me know... How are your hops projects coming along?

*Ulrike* said...

Enjoyed reading about and seeing your hives. I'll have to tell hubby about the pink and yellow ones. Might give me an idea as he is always saying that one there and the little one over there, you get the picture!