I checked on all three hives today and they appear to be alive. I took apart hive one and found that the bees had eaten most of the honey. They only had three frames of honey in one of the brood boxes and about half of one of the supers left. I put an in-line feeder with sugar water in the brood box to hold them over. When I cleaned up this hive there was 4 inches of dead bees in the bottom box blocking the entrance. The small space in-between the hive and the insulation on the hive was filled with dead bees as well. I’ve removed the insulation on this hive.
The pollen patties have been ordered but haven’t arrived yet. I’m hoping that I will be able give all three of the hives pollen patties this week.
Here are the videos of the bee package installations from Sunday.
This video is the installation of the bees in my backyard. The bees are being fed with an inline feeder with 1:1 sugar water and frames of honey as needed.
This video is of the installation of the bees in my in-laws backyard. The bees in this hive are being fed with an exterior bottle feeder containing 1:1 sugar water and frames of honey.
Unfortunately it’s cold, windy and snowing outside.
The bees are safe and sound in their packages but we’ll have to wait until tomorrow, when it’s a little warmer, to install them in their new homes. For now they are my spare bedroom taking it easy after a long journey from California.
I’m going to prepare the 1:1 sugar water for feeding them tonight. I was told to take all of the honey off of the hives and just start feeding them sugar water to get them started. Each package of bees will be put into one brood box. I’ll be taking the rest of the boxes off and extract the honey from last years honey crop. They will have some honey left on the frames from the old hive but otherwise they will be getting sugar water for feeding.
Hopefully it will be nicer tomorrow to install the bees and I will do a video of the installation of at least one of the packages into a beehive.
Activity of bees at hive entrance
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.