Welcome to the A2B2 Flow Hive Blog. For the A2B2 General Blog please click on the blog tab at the top of the page.
Another successful check! I wore a GoPro today, so you can watch all the highlights on the video below.
The biggest news is that a new queen was seen, though she isn't laying yet and almost made a great escape! The hive looked a little stressed as we saw signs of chewed off brood caps and what appeared to be sacbrood. Sacbrood is a viral brood disease where the larvae are standing straight up in their cells, are pointy, and are brown. This is not a virus carried by Varroa mites and often symptoms disappear when the hive regains its strength. To bolster the new queen, we added a frame of brood from her mother's colony which is doing well after the split. Hopefully at the next check we will see the new queen laying and no signs of brood disease.
Unfortunately, the Flow Hive Super was still pretty dry though there were some bees working on the bottom of the frames, so no harvest today.
We did not perform a mite check today because there was almost no brood in the hive and it had just had a brood break while making their new queen.
We spotted a worker bee with deformed wing virus. This is a virus carried by Varroa mite. Not sure if this gal came from the Flow Hive, but it is a sign of a high Varroa load somewhere in the bee yard. :(
The next check is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, August 14th at 10:00am at the A2B2 Club Apiary at Matthaei Botanical Gardens.
1. Check new queen is laying.
2. Mite Check +/- Treatment
3. Harvest Honey?
P.S. Saw bees with huge, white pollen baskets. White pollen possibilities in July: Lima Beans, Lemon Mint, Globe Thistle, Magnolia, Angelica, Rose-of-Sharon (Hibiscus), Plantain Lily, Cardinal Flower, Mallow, Sweet Bergamot, Sourwood, Balloon Flower, Mountain Mint, St. Mary's Thistle [Source: Garden Plants for Honey Bees by Peter Lindtner]
For more information on the Flow Hive or the A2B2 Flow Hive Team, please contact Jen Haeger at email@example.com.
Hello! Welcome to the new Flow Hive Team blog for A2B2! If you want the A2B2 general blog, just click on the "blog" tab at the top of the page.
The word of the day is "SWARM." When we arrived at the hive today, there was a suspicious abundance of bees congregated on the outside of the hive despite the cloudy skies and chilly weather (65 F).
Good News: The bees had, in fact, taken the hint (the honey frame we placed up in the Flow Hive super) and were finally filling up the plastic Flow Hive frames with nectar. Yay! We replaced that honey frame with the previously removed plastic Flow Frame and are really hoping for a harvest in mid-July.
Bad News: The two deeps were filled with capped brood and one frame was sporting some swarmy queen cups on the bottom of the frame with larvae inside, so after a frantic search for both the queen and for some equipment to make a new hive, we split the hive and placed the old queen in a new location and the swarm cells in the old location.
I'm so glad we did this check today, because in another couple days we would've had no queen and about 60% less bees. Hopefully the Flow Hive colony will make a great new queen and make a ton of honey in the meantime, but this means that we may have to wait 3 weeks for our next check to give that new queen time to take her mating flights and start laying. The good news is that this break in the brood cycle meant that we didn't have to perform a mite check today.
In brief: We split the Flow Hive and moved the old queen to a new location to prevent swarming, leaving swarm cells in the old hive. We did not perform a mite check. Though the bees were beginning to put honey in the Flow frames, we did not harvest any honey today.
Thank you so much to Clay for helping me out today! I wouldn't have been able to split the hive and find that wily queen on my own! Also, thanks for taking that sting for me!
Plans for next check [tentatively scheduled for Saturday, July 24th at 10:00am at Matthaei Botanical Gardens]:
1. Check the hive has a new, laying queen.
2. Mite Check +/- treatment if enough brood present
3. Harvest honey
For more information on the A2B2 Flow Hive, the Flow Hive in general, or if you'd like to become part of the A2B2 Flow Hive Team who helps maintain the hive and harvest honey, please email Jen Haeger at firstname.lastname@example.org.