Hive Inspection – 20170830

Hive 1

This is our strongest hive by far. They are putting up plenty of honey and pollen. This hive requeened itself (after assumed but unobserved swarm) in June. No problems with this hive after the initial infestation of SHB that came in with them.

Observations

  • About 10 frames of honey.
  • Lots of pollen – mostly as bee bread, mostly yellow and light orange.
  • No burr comb to speak of.
  • No drone cells.
  • No queen cups or cells.
  • Eggs present.
  • Uncapped and capped brood of various ages. Good solid pattern.
  • Couldn’t find queen, but she must be present (eggs).
  • No phoretic mites seen.
  • No DWV seen.
  • No SHB adults or larvae seen.
  • No sign of wax moth damage or larvae.

Actions

  • Gave them the second of three planned sugar shakes to treat them (gently) against Varroa mites.

Hive 2

This hive is strong, but has had issues. They requeened themselves (after presumed but unobserved swarm) in June. The new virgin queen was seen, but the new queen did not mate successfully (disappeared). The hive subsequently developed laying worker syndrome, but was requeened successfully with a mated queen from Allen Johnson. Since the laying worker period, the hive has shown a very strong propensity to build drone cells. In late July, we began seeing some DWV in the hive, and examination of the cutout drone brood showed a strong infestation of Varroa Destructor Mites.

We enforced a brood break in this hive by capturing the queen into a homemade queen cage frame on August 14, 2017. On August 22, 2017, we gave them (and all of our hives) a powdered sugar sprinkle against the mites. The plan is to continue to enforce the brood break until September 15, 2017, and then requeen.

Observations

  • About 15 frames of honey.
  • Trapped queen is still alive – her two trapped attendants dead of starvation.
  • No burr comb to speak of.
  • No drone cells.
  • One open queen cup.
  • Some older uncapped brood. Remainder of brood capped. Brood nest cells mostly empty. All as expected.
  • Number of adult drones greatly reduced.
  • No phoretic mites seen.
  • No DWV seen.
  • No SHB adults or larvae seen.
  • No sign of wax moth damage or larvae.

Actions

  • Gave them the second of three planned sugar shakes to treat them (gently) against Varroa mites.
  • Removed the single queen cup.

Hive 3

This hive was established in June 2017 from a nuc given to us by a friend. The nuc was raised from her own stock using eggs from one of her own hives. The stock has a strongly Russian genetic background, but is not purebred. This is our smallest colony, due to having started late, and the Russian characteristic of building slowly. They have also been slow to put up stores, and we have supplemented them with honey frames from the other hives. We may need to continue that in order to help them overwinter.

Observations

  • About 5 frames of honey about 50/50 capped and uncapped.
  • Lots of pollen – mostly as bee bread, mostly yellow and light orange.
  • No burr comb to speak of.
  • No drone cells.
  • No queen cups or cells.
  • Eggs present.
  • Uncapped and capped brood of various ages. Good solid pattern.
  • Couldn’t find queen, but she must be present (eggs).
  • No phoretic mites seen.
  • No DWV seen.
  • No SHB adults or larvae seen.
  • No sign of wax moth damage or larvae.

Actions

  • Gave them the second of three planned sugar shakes to treat them (gently) against Varroa mites.

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