Weather and schedule cooperated for hive inspection this morning. I’ve been leaving the hive to its business during the first part of the “flow” (period of heavy nectar flow in a region when bees produce most of their honey), but really needed a look inside to see if my young hive was making enough progress and experiencing any issues.
I set out with very modest expectations, hoping they’d started to fill the second hive body/super with honey and or bees. I told myself that if it was half or more full, I’d add a queen excluder and third super above it. Immediately upon opening the hive, I was blown away. Lots of bees up top even early in the morning (most remain in the bottom/main body on cool nights). EACH of seven of the ten frames on the top super were 60-80% capped. The remaining three frames had open honey cells nearly to the brim. That is way beyond my wildest expectations. My girls have been healthy and busy!
Now all that is hive honey, which they’ll consume to survive over winter, so as delicious as it looks, it isn’t for me. Enter adding a queen excluder and extra super. The exclude prevents the queen from moving upwards and laying eggs in higher supers/boxes. This way you don’t have to worry about killing eggs/larvae when harvesting these exclusively honey-filled ares of the hive. Sure, it is optimistic to think they’ll fill this third one since I started late/small, but better to give them the option than not.
Throughout, I saw calm, healthy bees. No signs of deformity, parasites or anything out of the ordinary. Pulling out the bottom board tray (I have an open bottom board), I only saw the usual debris (bits of wax, propolis, etc), and no dead bees, beetles, moths or mites. Little early for many of those in a brand new hive, but I was relieved not to see any early warning signs there either.
I placed the queen excluder above the existing super and added my third medium super. Not sure they’ll have time to fill that one as well, but couldn’t hurt to give them some more building space since the main two are getting tight.
Hive all sealed up with no issues. Very quick and painless process for everyone. Special thanks to Laurie for snapping some pics so I could keep my hand’s free.