Thursday, 28 July 2011

We have more honey.

So, Plan D continued.  Yesterday, we were planning to do an inspection of Hive 2, with a view to removing the super completely if the bees hadn't used it,   and also to replace the three old frames (still leftover from the nucleus, and adapted to fit our Langstroth) with new frames.

It went well.  Eggs, brood,  a sealed Queen cell, stores,  nothing on the supers.   Sorry, go back a bit.  a Queen Cell?  a sealed Queen cell?  Before I could stop him, DH destroyed it. "They might have swarmed??!!" I said indignantly,  followed immediately by "but it's a bit late isn't it". And then "perhaps they weren't happy with the Queen, or something has happened to her". But it was too late, the deed was done.

Everything else went relatively smoothly, and relatively according to plan. Minor snippiness from both of us, recorded for posterity on the voice recorder.  Fortunately posterity only lasts long enough for me to transcribe the information into my home made (and home-bound) bee record book. 

The voice recorder works really well. I've ordered a lanyard thing so I can try wearing it round my neck, as I do have to put it down occasionally.  I was going to get an arm band thing, but I realised that would mean that my bee jacket would be pressed close to my arm at that point,  and I know (from bitter experience) that bee stings can get through at those sort of points.

Anyway, back to the honey. Last night, DH extracted the 6 partially filled frames (I was working, fortunately I can work from home), and we had about 9 pounds of honey.  The cappings are currently dripping over a sieve, and we think there's another half-  to a whole pound in there.

The next phase of Plan D is to put the extracted frames back on top of the hives, using our feeders as ekes.   We need to do that early next week, so that we can leave it a week and then get on with feeding the bees.       We can't really do it any sooner. (a) we've just stolen 3 frames out of each hive, so the bees probably aren't going to be too happy with us,  and (b) we've agreed that we should do these things early in the week so that if we do manage to upset the bees,  they should be calm again before the weekend - which is when most people visit their lotties.  Apart from our immediate neighbour, who is on shifts.  And our next two neighbours who are retired.    We might do it Sunday evening, as evenings seem to be a good time for this.  We'll see.

So, we need to do yet another set of inspections before we can "sign off".  We're still planning NOT to do the Varroa treatment until Spring. Both hives only have a small brood population, and we can't risk wiping those out.     We'll see what is in the drone brood comb on the end of the shallow frame, which we'll need to cut off next inspection.

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