Today was a busy day inspecting the hives. Our Twitchy hive swarmed again the other day (successfully this time) and we wanted peek in on our original hive to make sure they have plenty of room to expand and to give an initial inspection on our four new hives. Our first four inspection were done without using any smoke on the bees, they all went about their business and left us alone while we poked around in their homes.
This colony of bees was captured by Sandy from somewhere in Thousand Oaks. Right away their temperament was very gentle. When they were placed here in the orange grove they went to work right away cleaning out their new home and have settled in nicely. They’re at about five frames at the moment and we’ll look to add a second deep box in a few weeks.
This colony was living in a wooden fence in Woodland Hills behind an Apricot tree. We cut them out of there and placed them with their own comb into one of the dark stained deep boxes we had on hand. Our initial inspection of them this morning showed them fanning the hive in the sun. This was a sign that we really needed to swap them out of that dark box and into something lighter. They adapted nicely and were at about eight frames, so we knew we were going to add a new deep box.
We moved the existing hive into the work area and placed the new lighter hive where the original one was. We simply moved the ten frames, keeping their positions, right into the new deep. This was a quick task and we took a little time to inspect how they repaired their original cut comb. These two hives will bring us lots of orange blossom honey. It’s a wonderful urban location that has plenty of non-citrus to keep them busy all year.
These girls are from a swarm capture that Sandy did in Moorpark. They were quite busy and were working on about 7 frames in the initial deep box. This is about the right time to add a second box and we took care of that.
Two Twitchy Bees
Two Twitchy is a split from the original mean Twitchy hive on April 5th after their failed swarm. We didn’t do much with these girls. We popped the lid to see that they were working in the upper deep brood box. This was a good sign. We’ll have to check back in a few weeks to check for brood.
This is our first hive. It’s a couple years old at this point and there have been a lot of dirty little feet on that porch. This inspection showed that there was brood as high as the 3rd box (lowest medium) and the fourth box had 9 frames of bees. We added a fifth box (3rd medium) to keep them growing. Over the next couple months we’ll have to manage this hive and take some honey in about a month. During the inspection we exposed a few of the pupa and before we collected our tools we saw the bees dispose of a couple of these chalk brood off the porch. That was fairly quick work. In this video clip at about 12 seconds the bees at the end of porch are dragging something away. This is the only hive we used a little bit of smoke on.
We didn’t take any honey today, but we will soon. This is a pretty fun hobby to share with Sandy.