Early March Inspections

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Jacobs
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Early March Inspections

Post by Jacobs »

David and I took advantage of yesterday's 60°F+ day to open up hives and assess needs. With the exception of Summerfield (all deadouts by the end of January), the bees outside of town are doing better than my home bees have done. All were queenright and beginning to brood up in significant ways. A few had drone larvae and some capped drone brood at the bottom of some brood frames. A few of the hives had bees in significant numbers in the top medium super. I took this as a sign that I needed to make sure they did not starve as new brood is being raised. I added mediums with partial frames of honey on a few hives, and adjusted frames from the sides of other boxes to get a good amount of honey directly above the clusters. The hives we looked at all appear to be building up rather than dwindling. We'll keep our fingers crossed.

The Ag Center hive is barely hanging on. There are very few bees, but the queen is trying to make some new brood. If it can make it through this next stretch of bad weather, I may be in a position to put these few bees in a nuc box, bring it home and try boosting with a frame of brood and nurse bees from another hive. I am reluctant to pull brood from a good hive that is just beginning to build and put it in a nuc with few bees when low temperatures are going to get down to the teens. I'll be glad when the spring warm up begins for real.
Jacobs
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Re: Early March Inspections

Post by Jacobs »

Saturday's (March 15th) inspections of my 2 Franklinville hives present my latest challenges. One hive is queenright (marked-red) with capped brood, eggs, larvae, newly emerging worker bees and with multiple eggs in the bottoms of some cells. I'm wondering if even an experienced queen needs some practice while ramping up for spring.

The second hive has a good number of bees, but not as many as last inspection. I saw absolutely no eggs, larvae or viable capped brood. There were polished cells and one capped queen cell. I plan to have another look at this hive Friday and will be prepared to combine it with the other one if I don't see something more hopeful in the polished cells.
Wally
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Re: Early March Inspections

Post by Wally »

It sounds like the weak hive requeened and she went in the wrong hive when returning from her last mating flight. You now have 2 laying queens in that hive. The other one, hopefully, will have a second hatching queen laying soon.
Jacobs
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Re: Early March Inspections

Post by Jacobs »

I can't imagine any queen being mated this early. I didn't see drones at Franklinville and not more than 2 drones walking around in any hive I have looked at in the past 2 weeks.
Wally
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Re: Early March Inspections

Post by Wally »

I haven't seen blooms, either, but I have frame after frame of nectar. Bees see things we don't see. It's just a theory. Another week will tell the tale.
Jacobs
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Re: Early March Inspections

Post by Jacobs »

Yesterday's Franklinville inspection was interesting. Still no eggs or larvae, but I did see a queen cell with signs that a queen had emerged fairly recently. David and I saw a small queen walking around on a frame, appearing to inspect cells, but not backing in and laying. She was not runny. I guess I'll give it at least another week and check again. There were lots of polished cells and lots of fresh bee bread, and the workers were calm in the hive and purposeful in their flights, but not nearly as much pollen coming in as in the hive next to it.
donwal
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Re: Early March Inspections

Post by donwal »

Quick check on the hives today. I didn't spend alot of time pulling frames. Both are doing well, the queens are laying. Found eggs, larva and capped brood. Both had six frames of bees. They are packing away the pollen. Put out feeding stations in several spots around the yard (away from the hives) for them and any "stray bees". Doing this in hopes of keeping the strays away from my hives. Lots of new brood emerging and doing orientation flights today.
Wally
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Re: Early March Inspections

Post by Wally »

Have four "Wayne's bees" hives at Beez Needz. Did a grafting class there today. Hives full of bees and brood, nectar and pollen coming in as if it were May. All hives very strong. Drone brood everywhere. Spring is here at Keith's place.
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