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Hello all! This last check was just a quick peek into the hives because I was on my own and due for an allergy shot for my bee venom allergy!
Flow Hive: Observing the front entrance showed bees returning with pollen (a good indication of a laying queen). When I opened up the hive, the bees were a bit defensive and immediate flew right at me to let me know they weren't in a great mood.
I saw a little activity in the Flow Hive Super, but overall it doesn't look like we'll be getting a honey harvest from the frames this year. :( Not unexpected since these bees are from a split made this spring, but still a little disappointing.
Getting into the brood chamber, I was able to pull up one frame and see that it, and the next frame had worker brood on them. Since we only put in one frame of brood last time, math and logic say that the queen we spotted last visit is now laying! Hooray!
But all that brood means that next time we really need to do a Varroa mite check. This is the time of the year that Varroa bombs are exploding and colonies that have had low mite counts all spring and summer may start getting overrun. Another hive checked this past weekend had around 12 mites or 4% and yet another hive had a mite load of 12%!!! That's 36 mites/300 bees!!! Ouch! Hopefully the Flow Hive won't have that many mites, but we won't know until we test.
Split Hive: Plenty of pollen going in here and they are starting to fill the honey super (see above pics). I also was able to spot some eggs as this hive was a bit friendlier, but still didn't push my luck with a mite check, even though it also needs one.
Next Flow Hive Check is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, September 4th, 2021 at 10:00a.m. at the A2B2 apiary at Matthaei Botanical Gardens.
Plan for Next Check:
Mite Checks +/- Treatment for Both Hives***
Place Regular Super Under Flow Hive Super for Winter Honey Stores
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