Monday, January 14, 2008

Things as Expected

The weather was perfect on Saturday, 80 and sunny. It’s the middle of January and I could not ask for better weather to make my 1st inspection of 2008. I have to admit that I was a little hesitant at first, but once I popped the top off it was business as usual, and the bees seemed to vaguely care that I was there.Things appear to be progressing flawlessly. This supper has about 2/3 of honey left,

But believe it or not …… over the winter three of the plastic foundation frames were drawn out about 35% to 40% and right now are mostly capped with honey stores.

There is another cold front moving in this week. It should last just a few days which is the normal winter pattern for Central Florida. I’ll keep an eye on things but I’m sure they won’t be starving any time soon.Still, I do have a few things to worry about. I’m attempting to get a more accurate daily mite count. It seems higher than it was back in November but no where near the critical 60+ count for Florida. In this weather it’s going to take a few weeks to dry any tobacco leaves for a treatment so Mites are something to keep an eye on.Next, as seen in the last picture from right to left, frame #3 is warped which impedes the access to its cells and the adjacent cells of frame #2.Last year the hive ran out of room for the queen to lay eggs. The queen resorted to laying eggs in the burr combs below and above the brood frames. I believe I can see in one of today's pictures a few eggs on the burr comb between the deep and the medium supper. I read of some beekeepers in Florida keeping what they call 1.5 hives………. a deep body and one medium supper. I’ll see what the hive does with the current configuration. If by March they have expanded the brood chamber into the medium, I’ll just let them have it.
Last but not least, the top cover I made last year is also warped. My bees are not fond of a top entrance so they have wasted a lot of resources closing the one created by the wood warping. I replaced it with my old Beemax cover while I clean and try to straighten that one. I’m looking to start feeding the 1st week of February to create an artificial flow and hopefully split no later than the second week of March. The lingering indecision is what to do about a queen for the split. It is almost impossible to purchase one that early.
But first, I need to build the nucs and finish the TBH.

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