July 23rd: Checked the Hive

My hive is still in the configuration of the July 14th post.  I opened the hive at noon.  Sunny and hot.  After taking off the outer cover, and inner cover, I pulled one foundationless frame from the top box (above the queen excluder) and set it aside.  It was 70% covered with comb and 80% of that was drone comb.  It had just a little bit of nectar in some of the cells.  As I began pulling frames and inspecting them in that top box, the bees became a little bit agitated.  I got stung once, on my left upper arm, but I scraped it off quickly and it didn’t hurt much at all (I’ll see what the residual effect is).  After that sting, I stopped and put on my veil and lit my smoker.  Dried mulch (pine wood chips from a chipper) seemed to work well; the smoker stayed lit.  Everybody (including me) calmed down after I started using the smoker.

The frames in the top box were well drawn out with decent honey stores in them.  They were drawn out enough that I decided to leave out that one foundationless frame I had pulled and space the nine remaining frames with a little more space between them.  (I’m also planning to order some 9-frame spacers from Kelley Beekeeping.)

The frames in the middle box, below the queen excluder, and above the original deep brood box, were being drawn out by the bees, but the queen had not moved up there yet.  There was no brood in that box.  I checked a couple of the foundationless frames in that box, and they too were covered mostly with drone comb.

This Saturday, I need to see what’s going on in that bottom brood box.

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