With the help of Derek M. Sam S. and Dick W. we did a quick inspection this week, removed the feeders, and added queen excluders and honey supers. The girls are doing great. Of note this week, they had moved a lot of the nectar they placed in what had been the brood area in the lower box to both the old comb and the newly drawn comb provided in the medium super we gave them last week. The queen took advantage of the change and quickly layed in the newly cleared space with a nice pattern. There was much new brood, vice the very little observed the week before. We found the queen in the new medium super in both hives. During the inspection, we saw about 8 full frames of bees (roughly 55,000 bees) per colony. Both colonies have about 4 1/2 frames of brood so they continue to grow. We saw our first drone brood and dry queen cups of the season.
We placed queen excluders and new medium supers on both hives. Each colony now has one deep, and two medium boxes. Both colonies currently have 2 1/2 deep frames of undrawn foundation, 5 medium frames of old drawn comb and 8 medium frames of foundation. The goal with this week’s manipulation was to provide plenty of space for the bees to build without serious interruption for the next few weeks.
The next two weeks we will do quick visual inspections of the bottom of the boxes looking for queen cups and, otherwise leave them alone unless we see signs of swarm preparation.
Thanks to everyone who helped with the bees this week! Special Thanks to Helen C. who provided some native plants for our buffer garden and Dick W. who helped prepare the beds!