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June field day

Today was very hot, the hottest since last September! However, the bees were in a good mood. The tree in the corner of the apiary apparently gives enough shade to keep them happy. We checked the little swarm first, to see how it is doing. It is the one on the left in this photo. I had previously looked inside after we placed it and did see the queen, so I knew she was in there. It was a very small swarm, though, so I was concerned that it wasn't building up very much. Anyway, when we looked inside there were around three frames of capped worker brood in a nice pattern. I did not see the queen on this inspection, but I think she is there. I think the brood just needs time to emerge and then the population will begin to build up. We left them as is.

Next we checked the horizontal hive. It had expanded to about the 12th frame. It had honey and lots of capped worker brood, so obviously it made a queen. It was started with just four brood frames, so it is doing very well.

The other vertical hive on the right in the picture had already needed another box a couple of weeks ago, so I had added one then. I had prepared another empty box to put on today. The last box I had put on was not completely full, although it was heavy with honey that wasn't capped. I decided to go ahead and put the empty box on because we are approaching the time of year when we get significant honey flows from basswood and clover, so I figured better safe than sorry.

So, the three hives, none started from a package or a nuc are all doing very well! All the hives started from splits of just brood that had to make their own queen were successful! The mother hives they were taken from are also very strong, so I think it is definitely something we will continue to do in the future.

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