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 email@example.com.
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