Even though the official 1st check of the A2B2 Flow Hive team is still a week away, yesterday I went for a run and saw the official sign of honey bee spring, dandelions! Dandelions are usually the first sign that swarm season has officially began, so I got nervous and headed over to the teaching apiary to clean up my mess from last check and make sure our hive wasn't bursting at the seams.
The good news is that I easily fixed what I had done last time, removed the dry sugar and the wrapping from winter, removed the wonky medium with some shallow frames in it, and added a deep box of drawn comb with one wax foundation frame.
The bad news is that I was able to do this because despite pollen going in, there were only 2.5 frames of bees in the hive. Not exactly the type of spring build up we were hoping for.
I also added 3 quarts of 1:1 syrup (I'd left syrup last time, but it doesn't look like they got past the dry sugar to find it), and reduced the entrance because of the low numbers of bees.
I didn't dig into the hive to see if there were eggs or brood ready to hatch out, so we'll just have to wait and see what things look like at the next check.
The 1st official Flow Hive Team check will be Saturday, May 7th at 10am at the A2B2 Teaching Apiary at Matthaei Botanical Gardens.
P.S. So I spoke to several experts about the drones in the split hive dead-out and they said that probably the hive was in the process of dying in the fall and didn't kick out the drones like they should have for the winter. Sad, but interesting.
Notes: We have 9 deep, crumby all plastic comb frames and 4 okay deep comb frames, around 14 okay, medium comb frames, and around 14 shallow comb frames in the storage trailer (except for the 4 okay deeps which are in my chest freezer).
What is a Flow Hive?
A Flow Hive is a Langstroth-style hive system with plastic frames which allow honey to be harvested directly from the hive. www.honeyflow.com/pages/how-flow-works