Grouchy No More

I added a third super to hive one this morning, checker-boarding two of them to give the girls plenty of space. This hive has been pretty grouchy for the past several months since the queen upheaval and swarms in March and April. Today, they paid me no attention at all. I had my smoker at the ready and didn’t even use it. It was a clear sunny day and pretty warm, so I think they were just busy doing bee things and trying to keep cool. I guess when I’m dripping with sweat, they’re happy and calm. I checked a couple of frames in the brood chamber and there is lots of capped brood and new larvae. This queen lays all the way to the bottom of the frames, make good use of the space.

I did a quick check of the brood chamber in the new hive as well, pulling just two or three frames. They are storing lots of nectar for honey, but there is also some capped brood. I would like to see better production, but perhaps the hive body below is better populated. I’ll check that later in the week. Hopefully, they’ll have a growth spurt soon so they’ll have a strong population going into fall and winter, although the first hive hardly slowed down on its growth during the winter. It all depends on how cold it gets.

I am thrilled at the effects the slatted racks have on the hives. Last year, when it started getting hot, the bees would congregate outside the hive in giant masses called bearding. They were just about melting in the heat. The slatted racks have obviously improved airflow greatly and the bees are not gathering outside, even in the hottest part of the day.

Last year in late May.

Last year in late May. Sometimes there would be bees all the way up the front of the hive.

The thermometer says it's in the mid-90s today and there are no bees gathering outside.

The thermometer says it’s in the mid-90s today and there are no bees gathering outside. The difference is amazing.


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