July Field Day

Isn't that a beautiful sight? Oh how I have waited to see that! It was a drippy day when we started on July 14, 2018, but the drips quickly stopped, and although it was cloudy it was not ominous and the bees were not upset.

We started with the small hive, the one that started with only a Sasketraz queen and a couple of frames of brood about two weeks prior to the field day. It had expanded a tiny bit, and the queen had capped brood. We saw her, too. That hive needed a little help to build up, so the plan was to take a couple of frames of brood from the other vertical hive, which was the first nuc I started from Mary Bouma. So, we moved over there to open that hive, see where it was at and find appropriate frames. The top box was still mostly empty, although they had honey pretty much filling two frames in the middle. The next box down had about three empty frames on the edges. The rest was FULL of honey. It wasn't capped yet, but the frames were full, and the person moving the box agreed it was heavy! The next box down was FULL, mostly of honey, mostly capped. We worked from the edge until we found two frames near the far edge that had some capped brood. The rest had been filled with honey as soon as the brood emerged. These two frames were also in the process of being filled with honey, but still had some capped brood that had not yet emerged. There was not an empty cell in the frame. If it didn't have capped brood, it had honey or pollen. We checked carefully for the queen because she is not marked in that hive, but we also knew she wouldn't be on a frame with no room to lay eggs. We took those two frames over to the small hive and placed them in the broodnest. We then took two empty frames from that hive and put those where the ones we removed were.

We then closed both those hives and moved on to the white long hive. Those bees were the late nuc from Mary Bouma, and had been there around a month. They had expanded to around eight frames and had stored honey as well as brood. We didn't bother to try to find the queen because they were acting queen-right and there was capped brood, although we didn't dig far enough to find young brood.

Next we opened the blue long hive. That is the one I started with a three frames from Jon Faust and my first Saskatraz queen. I counted 15 frames the bees were covering! The picture above is from that hive. Since I had been in there a couple of days earlier, we didn't linger, but they had started to build a little comb on the empty frames I had placed between the full honey frames and the last frame with brood. The last honey frame is getting fat and they are building it into the empty space, but I will deal with that. They had not fully capped all the honey and I felt it best to wait to harvest any from that hive.

So, the good news is that there is definitely honey, and I will definitely be able to harvest honey and EXTRACT! So, next month's field day on August 11th will include collecting honey and bringing it back to my house to extract and bottle! YEA!!!

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