Sunday, July 26, 2009

Moving Day

I had a couple issues to deal with in my hive. First I use medium hive boxes and had two large frames which extend from the upper super to the bottom hive box. I wanted to exchange them for the proper size frames and make it easier to inspect the hive.

I also had this swarm I collected off my neighbor's BBQ. I was very curious to know if I had the remains of a queen cell in my hive. Did the swarm come from my hive?

The two issues converged with Russell Bates the blogger for Backwards Beekeepers. He has more experience than I do and happened to need bees for another hive. Voila, solution, he would give me a hand and I would give him some bees. He showed up and after a brief introduction to my dogs we went to work.
Applying a little calming smoke.
We moved the top (3rd super) and went to work.. There was only a little comb in the top box. The other two had lots of comb. Here Russell is inspecting the first frames we removed to make space to move the frames around.

Russell looking for eggs. He spotted some with the magnifying glass. I still could not see them. This is a case of old eyes looking through a veil at a repetitive pattern. I was lucky to not fall over from vertigo. It was very wise to have some younger eyes on hand.
Check this one closely and see if there are any eggs. I still cannot find them.
This is one of the two large frames that we would be cutting down and putting into four medium frames.. Both of these frames were loaded with brood. We were going to swap the lower and middle hive boxes but with all this brood it was decided to leave them as they were. You can see the comb extensions I had to deal with at every inspection.

This is one of the large frames cut down and put into two medium frames. There was a lot of carnage. The large frames had wire and the comb had to be cut around the wires, losing a number of larvae. Sad to do that but the Queen has been very productive and will have no problem providing more eggs.
One of the new mediums installed. They were held in with a combo of string and rubber bands.
Russell installing the last of four new medium frames

All done and back together.

Russell about to leave with his reward but he had a passenger in his hair! I could not spot it at first but Russell was very adamant that he could hear it!! A couple seconds later and I removed it.
Russell in a better mood with his box o'bees. I really appreciated the help and I must say the bees were very calm and cooperative considering the extremely invasive inspection and changing frames. We did not find the remains of any queen cells so it is extremely unlikely that swarm originated from my hive. So all questions were answered and both of us learned a lot today.
It was a fine Bee Morning.

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