January 30, 2006

Checking on Wilde: Medium 2

layout of wilde colony january 2006

This is an overview of my "Wilde" colony, a hive of bees named after Oscar Wilde. The queen bee of this colony is named Elizabeth.

These honeybees are New World Carniolans, a breed active at lower temperatures and known for beginning to raise brood early in the year.

This page contains pictures taken during inspection of the second to bottom box of the colony: a medium super known to contain much of the brood area. This box is circled in gold at left.

Other boxes to visit:


Medium Brood Box 2

wilde hive top feeder January 30 2006fondant frame 1

OK kids, I not only have the top of the cluster in Medium 3, and an enormous hunk of the cluster in Deep 3, I have a stupendous LOT of bees in Medium 2. Unfortunately, at the moment I was in the hives, I was so gobsmacked by the fact that they had not dwindled away to nothing (as I feared to the point of certainty) that I forgot I should look for queen cells.

Yes, my friends, this is SO MANY BEES that I need to worry about a swarm, in January.

The darkish smear at the lower right is another mystery blob of propolis. Where do they get the stuff? Maybe the maple sap is running, and therefore their little saddlebags are pollen.

Scanning the many bees I am seeing, there are almost none of the PMS winged bees that seem to be sprinkled outside the hive. These girls may be displaying some pretty attractive hygienic qualities, too.

fondant frame 1 fondant frame 1

Last, but hardly least, please welcome the 2006 class of Wilde Citybees! At left, a frame with capped brood and festooning nurse bees. At right, brood not yet capped.

This is extremely heartening, but it also means I have more work to do. You can see that Queen Elizabeth has used every cell available to her, and that her brood area is all clogged up with cells full of pollen and bee bread (the yellow stuff). I need to slide her some drawn frames with empty cells, maybe by putting the empty outside frames of the Deep in the center, and by bringing down some of the empty frames from Medium 3.

Finally, I should have checked for swarm cells, but didn't. These girls are seriously cramped, and might take off on me. MaryEllen suggests that I make a split. I was kind of hoping to give her some bees, in part out of gratitude, and in part because I am not sure I am good enough to take care of more than 2 colonies.

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