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August field day

We had a nice day for a field day. Although there were a few dark clouds that floated by, they didn't drop anything and it was in the mid 70's, so not terribly hot. I had brought several boxes of drawn comb to add to the hives and also to share with others who needed it for their own hives. I had three medium boxes with old honey from dead hives that wasn't nice enough to extract. We set those on end between the hives so they could rob out what was useful from those.

First we checked the horizontal hive, the white one which is the only one with bees in it presently. The bees are filling most of the first third of the hive, which is good. We saw the queen, wet nectar and capped brood.

We added several frames of drawn comb, replacing empty frames to help them out so they didn't need to make the comb. They have not added to the bottoms of the medium frames. They look good, but hopefully will make enough honey for winter. They are the weakest of the three hives.

Second we checked the middle vertical hive which is next to the horizontal hive. The top box had a couple of frames of honey in it. Below that the next box also had some honey, about three frames. The top box had several empty frames, which we replaced with drawn comb. The bottom two boxes had brood and honey and looked good.

We checked the strongest hive last, the vertical hive furthest to the south. The top box was pretty much empty, but it had five frames that were empty. We replaced those with drawn comb. The next box down had three or four frames of honey, two of which were capped. Below that the bottom two boxes had seven or more frames each of bees, brood and honey. I feel that hive is going to be able to be ready for winter for sure.

The hives have about a month and a half to gather nectar for the winter. Hopefully they will get all they need. There are a lot of blooming plants around, it is a nice location. If they don't have enough honey for winter, we will feed sugar water, but won't make that decision until the beginning of October.

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