Our plan today was to check up on The Cottage Bees and Wendy’s Bees to see if we could transfer a brood frame and add it to the weak hive.
First hive to work on was The Cottage Bees.
We removed all the tar paper and the cedar insulation on top.
On first inspection we saw that the sugar and pollen patty had been reduced to about 25% , which was a good sign. After taking off the feeding layer and the inner cover we noticed a very healthy population of bees ( from what we could see).
First thing to do is search for the Queen. The first few frames still had a decent store of honey on them. While checking the frame, we scrapped excess comb around the base of the frames to keep the hive clean. After doing this for about 5 frames we picked up a frame which had a healthy amount of brood on it. This was clearly the workings of a queen and she must be nearby. With eagle eye precision we scanned the frame for a larger than normal bee. We eventually found her and gently put her into the queen cage.
Now that the queen was safe we finished off the last few frames. We replaced a frame with a drone frame to encourage the queen to produce drone. This helps with a few things, but mostly to control mites, as the mites prefer drone cells.
We closed up the hive and moved on to the next one.
Second hive to work on was Wendy’s Bees
Nearly the same step by step process with the previous hive. We took the cover, sugar and pollen patty and the inner cover off. We did notice that there was a less sugar and pollen on this hive.
Wendy’s Bees were just as populated as our bees. We took the first few frames out and noticed that there wasn’t as much honey in this hive. We would clean and scrape the frames to ensure a clean and easily accessible hive. Before starting we knew that the queen did not have a dot on her and she would not be very easy to find, but we did not give up.
On the 4th or 5th frame we finally found her. This frame had a healthy layout of brood cells and we could see that the queen was still healthy and in good working order. We put her into a queen cage and continued on through the other 5 frames.
We replaced one frame with a drone frame and let the queen out and closed up the hive.