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This labor day weekend we had good news and bad news for the Flow Hive. The good new is that a mite check revealed only 1 mite/300 bees (alcohol wash)! So, no treatment needed. Whew!
The bad news is that we didn't get any honey this year. Even though there is a goldenrod honey flow on, the hive had very little honey stored for the winter, so we just left on the normal medium super and will probably have to feed 2:1 sugar syrup at the next check to make sure the hive has enough honey to get it through the winter.
It's a little sad that we didn't get any honey this year, but not surprising considering we had to split the hive to prevent a swarm and lost 1/2 our bees to the split hive and a lot of time and resources on the Flow Hive making a new queen. The Flow Hive was also from a late split off another club hive, so was a brand new hive this year.
Other good news is that we spotted the Flow Hive queen (a nice and plump golden girl) and that she is laying like crazy!
The sister split also had only 1 mite/300 bees (alcohol wash), so no treatment required there either. What was required was another box as this queen was also laying like mad and running out of space.
So, to sum up:
1. Mite levels are below the treatment threshold on both hives.
2. Both queens are still laying like gangbusters.
3. We removed the Flow Super to facilitate winter honey stores.
4. The sister split hive needed more space.
Thank you to everyone who was able to come and help out yesterday! I appreciate you all so much!
Plan for next check:
1. Check both hives are queenright (i.e. have a laying queen).
2. Mite check both hives. (Mite counts can skyrocket unexpectedly in the fall!)
3. Start feeding 2:1 sugar syrup. (In the fall, you should feed 2:1 syrup instead of 1:1 to make it easier for the bees to dehydrate and cap the honey.)
The next check is tentatively scheduled for SUNDAY, September 19th, 2021 at 10:30am at the A2B2 teaching apiary at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. (*Please note the day and time changes!*)
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