The weather today was finally nice when I had some time to do a hive inspection.
Last week I put a Dadant (medium) honey super on the hive with new frames and wax foundation. I was hoping there might be a little bit of comb pulled but, nothing yet. It has been quite cold and rainy all week.
Based on the course from Royal Roads and a bit of reading, there is no queen excluder in place yet. This is supposed to make it one step easier for the bees as they use lots of wax to pull new comb.
The second layer looks great to me (again, I am a beeginner so I’m not really sure). Eight of the ten frames have activity with the outermost frames still being basically empty.
That matches what I’ve heard about the cooler temperature on the outside of the hive and those frames therefore being used last.
The inner frames look great, a bit of random comb but quite uniform. Frame number three looked great! It’s wall to wall capped brood on one side only a few spots open on the other side. I think this bodes well for future population growth as we head into a nectar flow. When I looked at the photos, it was great to see eggs! I didn’t see the queen, but that’s okay knowing that there are eggs. That said, I’m not sure if what I think are eggs are actually shiny eyes looking up…
This is where today’s inspection got more interesting. On the bottom of one of the frames, some drone cells tore open as they were stuck to the frames below (apparently I need to get in there more often!). This was a fluke but it revealed some drones about to emerge – damaged, so I scrapped them off for examination. I’m glad we were shown some drones removed with a capping fork a couple of weeks ago Tugwell Honey Farm!
There were about 15-20 drones uncapped and I found 3 varroa on/in them. I don’t know if that’s a lot, but it’s way more then I was hoping for. It was very interesting to see mites in my hive for the first time but, it also led to a vapourized Oxalic Acid treatment this evening. With two more treatments over the next 10 days, I hope that keeps the mites under control.
This short video shows what a mite looks like beside a drone that was pulled out of a cell.
Gives an idea of the size…and I think this is a large mite.