I wish I had photos documenting the progress that the bees have made in the past couple of weeks. The bees have awakened from their slow state of mind. My split hive finally got to work on the Rite-Cell foundation that they were slow to draw out is now more than 80% drawn and filled with honey! It blew my mind that they accomplished that much work in such a small time frame. My other hive that was from the spring swarm has filled up with brood and honey and pollen. Since there is so much activity right now and there is still a heavy nectar flow happening, I decided to hastily add a honey super to each of these hives. I wanted to give them room to move things around as needed and the swarm hive also has to now draw out fresh comb in the honey super that I stacked on. I purchased it last year but never got to use it.
Due to the extreme robbing that I was experiencing with my open feeding method, I decided to switch to an internal feeding method utilizing 1 gallon ziploc bags with slits in them. The bags are positioned by laying them flat across the top bars of the frames. This is not my preferred method of feeding, but it is what I had available on short notice. I’ve tried several methods of feeding and have yet to find one that I like. I’m thinking I may try to build some hive top feeders this fall. I really want a non-invasive way to put on about a gallon of feed at a time. I also began using Honey B Healthy in my feed, thanks to Julie’s generosity. I have instantly seen a difference in their willingness to take the feed. I had hoped to only feed a hive if it was in need of wax and brood boosting, but that instantly caused one hive to rob the other, so I fed both. I plan to stop this very soon as to not end up with honey made from sugar syrup.
I got a swarm call Friday evening in Andover, but it was gone within 15 minutes of the phone call. I do still have a complete hive in need of a swarm or split. I suppose I could make a split off of one of my hives, I just hate to intrude on them more than I have already. I feel like I owe it to them to build a strong colony. I still may perform a split. I would love to have three hives going by winter in order to better my chances of making it through with some bees.
My next order of business is to start building some additional honey supers. I have held off since I didn’t know if I was going to need them this year, but that is looking very positive right now, so I need to get busy. I will do my best to keep you all updated.