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.
Today the Flow Hive Team did the second check of the hive this year. Items on the agenda were: 1) Checking that the hive was queenright and disease-free, 2) performing a Varroa mite check, 3) harvesting honey from the Flow Hive if it was full, 4) adding a regular medium super for winter honey stores, and 5) adding a second ratchet strap to secure the hive components (especially the gabled outer cover which is known to blow off).
First we observed the hive entrance and saw pollen gathering which is a good indication of the hive having a laying queen. Sadly, the bees hadn't yet started storing honey in the Flow Hive super's plastic frames, so we removed one of the special plastic frames and placed a normal frame of honey in the Flow Super to encourage the bees to utilize it. We replaced the honey frame we took from the second deep box with a frame of open comb.
Getting into the brood chamber, we saw the large, beautiful, dark-colored queen and a lovely brood pattern with no signs of disease. A powdered sugar roll mite check revealed only 1 mite/300 bees, so no mite treatment is necessary at this time. Woohoo!
Since the Flow Hive wasn't full, we decided not to add the medium super, but instead stored it between the inner and outer covers of the hive. The second ratchet strap made it easy to secure the lid and boxes to the cinder blocks of the hive stand.
Thank you so much to Mike (A2B2 Club President) and Chris (owner Worker Bee Jewelry) for their help today!
The next check is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, July 3rd at 10:00am.
Plan for the next check: 1) Check hive is healthy and queenright. 2) Mite Check +/- Treatment. 3) Harvest Honey from the Flow Hive (fingers crossed). 4) Replace the honey frame in the Flow Super with the previously removed plastic Flow Frame.
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.