June field day - sort of!!!
Our June field day was scheduled for June 13, 2015. It was a guess all week prior as to how the weather would shape up. It turned out rainy and then very hot and muggy, not happy bee weather. We still may have attempted to check the hives except for one more little wrinkle. Since our hives are in a gravel pit, at times the gravel pit owner actually uses it. This week he was crushing concrete. I was assured that the job would be finished before the field day, but alas, it was not. So, between the giant dump trucks and the noise, it didn't make for a nice environment to check the bees. The gravel pit guys were very nice, however. When I talked to the foreman earlier in the week and made him aware that the hives were there, he took measures to make sure the dust created from the process was eliminated so it wouldn't hurt the bees. One of the truck drivers is interested in honey when we have it to sell.
Three people did show up to the field day, it really wasn't a nice day, so most people stayed home. We chatted for a bit, a couple went home and the third came out to look at my personal long hive to see how it works. Later I went out to the apiary to take down my signs, and since the trucks were finished by then, I did peek briefly in the hives. I wanted to see if any water had leaked in the long hive after installing the new roof. It looked really good. The bees were really active and had moved into the beginning of the back third of the hive. I did not see excessive moisture in the hive. I was concerned because the new lid doesn't telescope over the sides. It doesn't have hinges, though, and can sit flush on the inner covers. The bees had propolized it to the inner covers.
The middle hive, the one with insulation on it looked very active as well. I had put two empty supers on it two weeks ago. They were working in the top box, I didn't take it off and check the one below, but I figured they had room to wait a few more days.
The new split we made at the last field day was acting very normal and queen-rite, although I didn't check for evidence of a queen at this time. I had put an empty super on it two weeks ago and they had made good progress on it, but it has room in it as well.
My plan is to go out to the hives Tuesday afternoon June 16, 2015. The weather forecast looks good for then. I will do a more thorough inspection and take off honey and add extra empty frames to replace any I take off if I think they need the space.
Next month we will certainly be taking honey and will be demonstrating extraction, so be sure to mark July 11th on your calendars for the next field day.
The picture here is basswood in bloom, which should be starting in about two weeks. If we have a good flow, basswood can fill up a hive very quickly, so be watching your hives to make sure you give them room to make honey!!