A nostalgic day...
On July 22, 2022, my daughter, Anneliese and I checked the hives. Anneliese was always my beekeeping partner until she had a severe allergic reaction to a bee sting several years ago. After that, she bought a more secure bee suit, but she was still very nervous. Then she was away at school for several years. Now, she felt ready and excited about the possibility of actually harvesting honey, something we have not done much of in the intervening years! I did light the smoker to make her more comfortable and also because I know the tan long hive is a bit grouchy, and I wanted to be able to get into it.
We opened the blue long hive first. We did find more cross-combing, which was a sticky mess, but I salvaged a broken comb from that. I rearranged and I think I finally have all the cross-combing fixed in that hive. I did collect two full (intact) frames of honey also at that time. There was much, much more honey, but the frames were not fully capped, so we left them for another time.
Next we moved on to the vertical hive. The top box was still mostly empty. I put drawn comb in from what we had previously extracted, so that should encourage them to move up. We will examine them on the next field day, August 13, 2022, and see what they did.
Then it was the grumpy hive's turn. Anneliese did conveniently exit the scene at that point! I pulled out the smoker, and I did need to use it, but it worked. I put a drawn comb in to replace a comb they were cross-combing. I also removed two full frames of honey from that hive.
I have successfully extracted or crush and strained three gallons of honey so far this season. That far exceeds anything in the past five years and I know there is more out there I can gather. From what I can see, my commercial beekeeper "friend" is not in his usual spots interfering with my bees' forage. I sincerely believe that is the difference. All three hives are thriving this year. Two overwintered, the third was a split off of the blue hive. I also sold a split to a friend of frames from both the overwintered hives. So, my two overwintered hives provided two nucs which have built up to full hives. It has been a very good year so far. The forage has been good. We just got almost 5 inches of rain, which should help all the growing/flowering plants.