So the official Flow Team check was Sunday, but it was so beautiful on Saturday that I couldn't help going out and checking on our hives just in case the rain started early on Sunday.
Nuc: I moved the nuc into new equipment and maybe saw one egg and no queen, but the workers were acting like they had a queen, so I think maybe I just missed a newly mated virgin queen. We'll have to double check on that at our next visit.
(Nuc: D1 = White, D2 = White)
Hive 1: Our tallest hive with the older, white queen had eggs today, so I didn't disrupt them further.
(Hive 1: White Queen: D1 = White, D2 = Tan/Wood, D3 = Green, D4 = White)
Hive 2: Spotted our yellow queen today and everything else looked good, so didn't do anything more.
(Hive 2: Yellow Queen: D1 = White, D2 = White, D3 = White)
Hive 3: I saw eggs and that the newspaper combination appeared to have gone well. At least 3 of the Flow Frames were full of honey.
(Hive 3: White Queen Split Combined with White Queen Nuc: D1 = White, D2 = White, Queen Excluder, New Flow Super)
Hive 4: I saw tons of eggs, so gave this hive that was a caught swarm from the White Queen split another box of foundation.
(Hive 4: Swarm: D1 = Green, D2 = White, D3 = White)
Hive 5: Didn't get too far into this hive, just checked that they were okay on space. Last check we saw a lovely new dark-colored queen.
(Hive 5: Yellow Queen Split w/ Dark Queen: D1 = White, D2 = White)
Hive 6: This is definitely our problem hive. Though there were at least 3 Flow Frames filled with honey, these ladies were very defensive and had no eggs, young larvae, or signs of a queen. We did see two capped queen cells and several other old queen cells that were being broken down. It's possible that this hive has a virgin queen or has a virgin queen about to emerge. I should have given this hive a frame of eggs and brood from the Hive 2, but I didn't think of it until it was too late. This hive has a White Deep of Foundation on top of the Flow Super mainly for ventilation because they were bearding a lot.
(Hive 6: Queenless Yellow Queen Split: D1 = Green, Queen Excluder, Old Flow Hive Super, D2 = White)
Yesterday all our hard work finally paid off in a little more than 12lbs of honey harvested from just 4 Flow Hive frames! We would've harvested more, but got rained out, so next check we're bound to harvest more.
Hive 1: We ended up taking our white queen out of her hive and placing her in a new nuc (Nuc 2) because she had some open queen cells present and she's such a good queen we didn't want her to swarm on us.
(Hive 1: D1 = White, D2 = Wood, D3 = White + Nuc 2: White Queen Nuc: D1 = White, D2 = White)
Hive 4: There were plenty of eggs in the swarm hive, but they didn't need a third box, so we removed it.
(Hive 4: Swarm: D1 = Green, D2 = White)
We also set up two new hive stands and shifted the hives around a little bit. So now, facing North and going West (Closest to the Project Grow Garden) to East (Closest to Black Walnut Tree): Stand 1: Nuc 2 , Hive 5, Hive 2; Stand 2: Hive 1, Hive 4, Hive 3; Stand 3: Nuc 1, Hive 6
Finally, we placed the swarm traps in the far corners of the bee yard and put a little swarm lure (lemongrass oil) in them.
Plan for the next check:
1. Harvest more honey!
2. Check Nuc 1 and Hive 6 for queenrightness.
3. Fix Hive Stand 2 to be higher off ground.
4. Check all hives for space except Hive 1 which is in the process of requeening.
Next Check: Our next exciting check will be Saturday, June 17th, at 10:00am in the A2B2 Teaching Apiary at Matthaei Botanical Gardens next to the Project Grow Garden in the Campus Farm Area.
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