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The experienced beekeepers in Florida are waiting for the fall honey flow. This is the time when Florida hives collect their winter stores. For weeks I have been reading in beekeepers forums how everyone up north is buttoning up their hives preparing and planning for the winter. Here in Florida the 1st day of fall means no more low to mid 90’s temperature…bring on the upper 80’s.
Due to the heat, the high humidity, and the anticipated honey fall flow; I gave my hive a new top that implements an upper entrance. The hot humid weather equates to the bees having to fan the hive in an attempt to move fresh air in. I also wanted an easier time prying the top cover off the hive during inspections. The Beemax top fits incredibly snug and it is impossible to insert the hive tool between the top and the hive body to pry them apart. The picture shows the inserts in place to create the top entrance (click on any picture for larger view), I can also pull them out to eliminate the entrance. It telescopes out and down on two sides and incorporates a landing path on the front when open, and in the back it allows me to insert my hive tool between it and the hive body.
A quick look at the medium supper before closing the hive revealed the winner between plastic frames and foundationless wooden frames. With out foundation the comb is drawn from the top down. So it might not be a fair contest since the bees seem to be slowly moving up.
It was a good inspection day unless you count the sting on the back of my thigh (Sting count is now 7). It happened as I turned my back on the hive to place the smoker down. Little bugger got me good, my leg has swollen from mid thigh to just past the knee. The sting in itself is not painful; it’s trying to move the area that causes some pain. The area has swollen as much as the skin will give and the usual redness and increase temperature in the area are present already.