Hello again, from the Flow Hive Team! Yesterday's check was a rousing success, but we are still one check away from a honey harvest.
We found the queen and tons of brood as well as tons of bees in all three of our deep brood chamber boxes. There were also lots of bees in the Flow Hive and they were well on their way to filling it with honey! There was also plenty of pollen for the bees to feed to all that brood and the brood were all plump, white, and floating in copious amounts of royal jelly.
We decided against doing a mite check today due to the hot weather predicted over the next few days which would mean that we wouldn't be able to treat with FormicPro if the mite count was above threshold (3%). So, we're going to wait until the weather is more cooperative before our next mite check. One positive, though not at all scientific sign with regards to the mites, was that some drone comb at the bottoms of the frames got ripped open while we were inspecting and those larvae didn't have any mites on them.
One task we did preform was a reverse of the bottom deep with the middle deep brood box and placing the queen in the bottom deep. There was more room for her to lay in the bottom deep, so we wanted to place that on top of her so she could find it more easily.
The next Flow Hive Check will be a honey harvest on Saturday, July 2nd, 2022 at 10am in the A2B2 Teaching Apiary at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Hope you can bee there!
This check was all about increasing the size of the colony so that all of those bees can make us honey! What we first noticed however, was that the pretty, gabled Flow Hive outer cover had leaked and that there was pooled water on the inner cover. :( This seems to be a common issue with the Flow Hive outer covers and I no longer use the peaked covers for my personal Flow Hives. So we ended up replacing the outer cover with a more standard telescoping cover, but had to add a spacer because the telescoping covers will get caught on the knobs of the Flow Hive super.
The other important task we accomplished was adding a third deep brood box filled with comb to the hive as it looked about ready to explode in population with many full frames of capped brood. Just for good measure, we found the queen and placed her in that new top box with 2 frames of brood so she could see all the space she now has to lay in.
We also did a mite check using the alcohol wash method and found 2 mites/300 bees which is less than 1%, so no treatment was necessary at this time.
Plan for the next check:
1. Check for eggs to make sure hive is still queenright.
2. Mite Check to keep an eye on mite levels so that they don't get out of hand.
3. Check the Flow Hive super to see if we are ready to harvest!
The next Flow Hive Team check will be on Sunday, June 19th, 2022 at 10am in the A2B2 Teaching Apiary at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Hope you can bee there!
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