Busy, busy bees
We had our August field day on the 21st of the month. I had checked the hives the day before, and decided that the tan long hive was doing well, but since it didn't have extra honey, we would not open that one during the field day. This is the first honey frame/last brood frame in the blue long hive. We did not collect this one because it has drone brood in it, as you can see in the picture. Probably by the next field day the cells that had drones will be filled with honey because that is typically what they do. We did collect three deep frames of honey from this hive. After that, we opened the vertical hive and also took three frames from that, but they were mediums. We then took them all to the garage for extraction. One of the deep frames fell apart outside because it was hot, the frame was foundationless, and we had not been careful in placing it when we removed it from the hive. We were able to salvage the honey, however, and we crushed and strained that comb. The other five we successfully extracted.
I was able to replace the empty comb in the hives a few days later, so the bees could fill them back up. I checked the hives again on September 10, 2021. This is what the blue long hive looked like then:
The other two hives also had a lot of bees and were very actively collecting the fall flow. Inside this hive, one of the foundationless frames had fallen/cross combed, so I propped it up between two frames of foundation. I rearranged the honey frames a little bit to allow more air flow and to encourage them to store more honey. The tan long hive was very active, but still only is covering around 10 frames or so. I installed them right when the commercial beekeeper moved his hives in, so they didn't get a head start like the other two. Hopefully they have enough for winter. They look good, I would expect them to be OK. The vertical hive had a heavy top super, even though we had taken three frames off it three weeks earlier. The second super down was lighter. The top deep brood box was filled wall to wall. I did not want to lift it, knowing it is very heavy, so I decided to wait until the field day on Sept. 18, 2021, when I have some help to lift that up and see how full the bottom brood box is. We will rearrange the honey on the field day, so it is mostly in the super above the brood nest. We will leave the top box on because there is still a month of forage left, and I want them to have room to store what they can. If they are really full, I may take a few more frames of honey, we will see.
We installed another section of fencing so the tan hive is now protected from the south. All we have to do for winter is to insulate the long blue hive and the vertical hive, but we will wait until October for that. It has been very hot. I cannot even think of reducing entrances right now. The picture above shows this hive with a fully open 19" entrance. Everyone is in a good mood, there is no evidence of robbing. I have not used a smoker all season.