My Honeybees

Backyard Beekeeping


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New hives

Yesterday my husband picked up some old bee equipment. The lady who gave it to him said that her late husband was a beekeeper and she just wanted to be rid of the old equipment. It had been in her backyard for over 10 years under a tree. He brought home 8 old beehive deeps and 2 supers. They will need paint, cleaning and and new frames (or foundation).

This weekend we will start cleaning them up and will post before and after photos.

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Hive Inspection 3/25/12

I completely took the hive a part today.

The bottom box was a mess.All the frames in the bottom box were covered in dead bees except one path that they were using for getting in and out through. I left the reducer on all winter and it resulted in poor air circulation and the bees could not get the dead ones out. So the dead bees started to pile up in the bottom box. The bottom board was covered in dead bees front to back and up the frames. It was horrible to see. All of the frames in the bottom box were empty,  no honey, just empty frames of comb and dead bees. I cleaned out the bottom box completely and let it sit in the sun, while I cleaned up the frames. 

The second deep had 3 full frames of honey and lots of live bees, but no sign of brood. The supers still had honey in the frames. The mold I had noticed before on the underside of the lid was gone. So it looked like the using the pennies as spacers worked to increase ventilation. 

Now that the bottom board is cleaned and the reducer is gone, the hive should have lots of ventilation. The bees should be able to clean up the rest of the hive and remove the small amounts of mold left. 

I thought I saw the queen but I wasn’t sure if it was the one I put in there last year. The dot on her back was gone. 

 

The temp was 63 degrees.

 

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Dealing with mold in hive

On Friday I went to my second year beekeeping class and asked about the mold in the hive. I was told to put a small spacer between the lid and the inside cover to increase circulation of air in the hive. I put 4 pennies, one on each corner under the lid, last week and now it seems fine. There is still a small amount of mold but it is not growing. Today I will take out the frames with mold and set them in the sun for a few hours.  The forecast today is going to be clear and in the 60’s,  I will do my hive check and spring clean up of the hive at about noon.


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3/10/12 hive check

I checked on the hive over the weekend and took the top two supers off to inspect. The top brood box had the left side frames filled with dead bees. This is the side of the hive that gets the least amount of sun. I cleaned out the dead moldy bees and reset the frames. The brood boxes have about 4 frames off bees each and two frames of honey. The supers still have honey in the frames but it is spotty. I will check next week to see if the need feeding.

The bees were out flying and the temp was over 50 degrees.