Tag Archives: hives

Up On The Roof

Here we see Mr. Combover max out the 25ft scissor lift and reach the roof. You’ll notice it doesn’t quite reach the roof top. It’ll take some tricky negotiating to get the hives onto that lift!

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Hive #2 – Update

You may have noticed that we haven’t been talking much about hive #2 lately. The reason being that it has been a less than ideal spring summer for that hive.

We believe we may have had a weak Queen to begin with, and about half way through May we realized that the hive population was not growing, and in fact, had totally plateaued. And what is more, upon further inspection we noticed there wasn’t even a Queen in Hive #2!

Long story short we spent the summer nursing Hive #1 back to health after the swarm, and we pretty much wrote off hive #2 as lost…

After consulting with our bee mentor Bryon from Her Majesty’s Bees in the Mission, we decided on a course of action that would have us undertake a walk-away split. We felt this would give us the best chance of trying to have two strong hives going into winter.

For those that don’t know – which included us until a few weeks ago – a walk away split is exactly what it sounds like. You split your healthy hive in half and simply walk away. You don’t care which hive has the queen, you just split them and trust nature will take care of the rest – ie. the hive without a Queen will make one, etc…

Well, back to our story, so last week we had resolved to do the walk-away split with it already being late summer it was important we not wait too long so the new Queen could have a better chance of mating.

So Cam and Mr. Combover get all psyched up to do it and when we went into Hive #2 for a quick peak before performing the split, we noticed the strangest thing – there seemed to be more bees in the hive than on previous visits. Intrigued we inspected the frames and much to our surprise found a Queen! In fact we saw a semi-decent brood laying pattern as well.

Surprised and relieved and confused, we closed the hive up, decided not to perform the walk away split and instead settled on a course of action to let the Queen in hive #2 have a few weeks to show if she has the strength to get the hive off the ground.

So that’s where we’re at. More to come in a few weeks.

In the meantime here are some pics from inside hive #2. Any real pro beekeepers will notice in this first picture that the Queen is in the upper left corner, slightly covered, but you can see her elongated body all the same…

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Tower of Power

Cam and Mr. Combover did a quick visit to the hive on account of Mr. Combover headed out of town for a few weeks. The purpose of the visit was to check on the progression of capped honey in the 3rd Super, as well as to ensure the bees had enough room and would be content for another 2 weeks.

Well, it turned out the top two Supers were filled with completely capped frames throughout and the bees had stared to congregate on the outer side of the guard boards thus meaning they might be getting a little crowded.

To alleviate this and also buy us some time until Mr. Combover’s return, Cam and Mr. Combover added a 5th! Super with empty frames to provide additional space, as well as additional opportunity for the bees to store more honey.

Now, because the frames we added were virgin (no comb) the bees will have to spend the majority of their energy building the wax comb before they can start to store honey.

Also as a side note – we removed two frames of capped honey from Super #3 and placed them in the middle of the new frames. The goal being to draw the bees attention to the empty frames.

Second side note – Mr. Combover like a champ (chump?) decided not to wear protective gear and was roundly rewarded when a bee got caught in his hair and panic-stringed him square on the top of his head. Happy to report only mild tingling as result. Oops.

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Double Down!

When in doubt – go on the offensive!

Cam and Mr. Combover are excited to announce that we’ve decided to double down, and start the new year with 2 hives, instead of 1. We’ve gone ahead and placed the order with our supplier up in Sabastapole, and we’ll soon be the proud owners of 2 hives later in the month. Now that we’ve got a taste of how much fun beekeeping is, as well as a literally taste of how good our rooftop honey is, we wanted to increase our output – thus 2 hives. We’ll continue to update you along the way, but thank you once again for the well wishes we’ve received from many of you in the past few days. It means a lot.

 

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