Hive Inspection – 20180216

 

Overview

Gonna try to put a positive spin on this. I had high hopes based on the high activity at the hive entrances once the days started to warm up. We had spent the morning waxing foundation on new plastic frames in anticipation of having to add them to the hives. Well the good news is we won’t need a lot more frames this year. The other good news is that we’re going to have a lot more left-over honey and drawn comb than we thought we would. Lastly, there’s no sign of wax moth damage or SHB infestation. Those oil traps really work well. Unfortunately, that’s about all the good news there is.

Photos

None.

Hive 1

Less than one full frame of bees left in this hive, and they were spread all over more than ten frames.

Observations

  • Lots of capped honey. didn’t bother to count them.
  • About 3 frames of capped brood, but suspect they may be dead left-overs from last year.
  • About 2 frames worth total (spread over five or more frames) with punctured caps and dead unemerged bees inside.
  • Very little pollen. None of it looks fresh.
  • No burr comb to speak of.
  • No drone cells.
  • No eggs seen.
  • No uncapped brood seen.
  • Queen not seen.
  • No phoretic mites seen.
  • No SHB adults seen.
  • No sign of wax moth damage .
  • No significant sign of infestation in oil traps.
  • One yellow jacket found on one of the frames.
  • Some 100 or so dead bees on screen bottom behind division board.

Frames

  • 2.5 Capped Brood.
  • 11 Honey.

 Actions

  • Removed all but two frames of capped honey.
  • Removed two old dark empty brood frames.
  • Reinstalled entry reducer.
  • Removed frames with unemerged dead.
  • Changed oil in traps.

Hive 2

This hive has more capped brood – about 3 frames. About 2 frames of bees present spread over 15 frames or so.

Observations

  • Still a lot of capped honey present. Didn’t bother to count the frames.
  • About 3 frames of capped brood. Very little activity around them. May be leftover dead.
  • Several partial frames of capped brood with punctured caps and dead bees inside.
  • No eggs seen.
  • No adult drones seen.
  • No phoretic mites seen.
  • No DWV seen.
  • No SHB adults  seen.
  • No sign of wax moth damage or larvae.
  • Queen not seen.
  • About 100 dead bees on screen bottom behind division board.
  • Saw partially completed (just barely started) queen cup on one of the frames.

Frames

  • Didn’t bother to count.

 Actions

  • Removed old empty brood comb frames.
  • Removed frames with dead unemerged bees.
  • Removed all but 3 honey frames.
  • Reinstalled entry reducer.
  • Cleaned bottom screen.
  • Changed oil in traps.

Hive 3

This is our only hive with uncapped brood. Population is abut 3 frames worth spread out over 11 frames.

Observations

  • Good stores of honey.
  • No burr comb to speak of.
  • No drone cells.
  • No queen cups or cells.
  • No eggs seen.
  • About 1/4 frame of uncapped brood seen.
  • About 2 frames of capped brood.
  • Population on the frames is very low.
  • Queen not seen.
  • No phoretic mites seen.
  • No DWV seen.
  • No SHB adults or larvae seen.
  • No sign of wax moth damage or larvae.
  • Had about 50 dead bees on the screen bottom in the open area outside the follower board again. Removed.

Frames

  • 2 Brood very sparse.
  • 9 Honey.

 Actions

  • Removed dead bees from empty zone.
  • Reinstalled entrance reducer.
  • Changed oil in traps.

Plan of Action

  • Monitor all three hives again in 8 days.
  • Rebuild hive boxes of any colonies that die as ventilated boxes with cover boards per Dr. Leo’s newest horizontal Langstroth plans.
  • Extract honey from removed honey frames.
  • Seek swarms to replace dead colonies.

1 thought on “Hive Inspection – 20180216”

  1. Status update – 20180217
    Hives 1 and 2 definitely dead. What we thought was capped brood was wet-capped honey. All activity inside both hives is robbing. Removed all frames an placed into storage. Will extract the honey, and then freeze the frames to kill pests before storing them up for future use (if any).
    Hive 3 is struggling, but still (barely) viable. Shrank them by all but two frames of stores and one empty partially drawn frame. They have eggs and larvae, so may pull through. Reduced the entrance to make it easier to defend.

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