Update on the hives
I was waiting for the shed to go before making one last split of the season from the long hive. We haven't split that hive yet, so I wanted to make one more split and place it on the concrete pad that is sitting over by where the shed was. It was too close to set that up before the shed was moved, so that is why I waited.
So, June 24, 2015, my daughter Anneliese and I opened the long hive. I am happy to report that even though we have had over seven inches of rain in the last two weeks there was no extra moisture in that hive inspite of the cover not telescoping. It is well propolized down, however. The hive looked great. The bees were all the way out into the entire second section and starting on the third. We found brood in the frames all the way up to the second to last comb. We found four nice brood frames. We notched one frame with eggs in it and placed it in the middle of a deep box we had set up on the concrete pad, and leveled. We carefully checked to be sure the queen was not on that frames. We then took the next three in sequence, which all had a lot of capped brood in them. We carefully checked each frame to be sure the queen wasn't there. We took four frames of brood because this split will not have the advantage of returning foragers because we put it in a different location. The long hive was very able to give up that many frames and even had a few queen cups started, so we felt it was a good idea anyway. We pushed the last frame back up to the brood nest and added four empty frames and closed up the hive. We put the four frames in the deep box with a notched inner cover and ventilators and will leave it for a month. We did this now because this is the last week of the year to safely raise new queens. After the first of summer, I figure actually the 4th of July, the hive doesn't have enough time to adequately build up for winter in our climate. So, if you are going to do a split in your own hives, now is the time.
Next we peeked in the insulated hive to see how it was doing. It hadn't done anything with the top super yet, so we took the frames from that and moved them to its insulated box and put it back on. It had started filling the first super, though. There was not honey ready for harvest yet, though.
Lastly, we checked the split. I was quite sure it had made a queen by its behavior and its strength, but hadn't had a chance to check inside before yesterday. So we looked and found plenty of capped worker brood, so there obviously is a queen there, and it is building up very nicely, filling three medium boxes now.