Hurray for the Host Hive!

It’s after the middle of April and the host hive bees seem to be going strong! I have been told by many beekeepers that we can’t be sure that the bees have made it through the winter until May. I am optimistic though. The colony seems to be growing well and they are very active. The next step that I need to take is to add more empty bars in the hive.

On April 18th I went over to the hive to check in on them and add three empty bars. Before I could get into the hive, the hay bales had to be moved. After that I spent some time watching the bees at their entrance. The entrance reducer had fallen out of the entrance hole, so I picked it up and decided that they didn’t need it. The bees were very active and bringing in lots of pollen.

The bees had also been using a small gap at the top of the divider board as another entrance. They were going in and out freely from the side of the hive with the observation window. I don’t really want the bees using that side of the hive as their door. Having them there makes using the observation window almost impossible. I am going to have to figure out how to make the divider board fit more securely into the hive.

Once the hive was opened, the first thing that I did was to remove the feeder with honey and the candy block. The bees had not touched the honey, but they did eat a little of the candy block. I was happy to know that the bees had plenty of honey to get them through the winter.

Then I opened the hive to check in on the bees. The colony is growing and there is still honey left for them to eat. The colony had 16 bars and I added 3 more for them to continue to grow. The first thing that I tried to do was to scrape the propolis off of the window and the divider board to try to make the divider board fit better into the hive. I got it down at little bit, but I don’t think that it is enough. I will have to work on it again during the next inspection.

The last bar that I was inspecting, the comb broke off. I seem to be doing that a lot lately! Rachel got a plastic bag and we got the bees off of the comb and put it into the bag. The comb did not have any brood, it had some honey in it. I gave the comb to Rachel for her family to enjoy.

When I looked around the outside of the hive I noticed something that looked like dysentery. There were no signs of it inside the hive. I will do some more research into it and keep an eye on things. I hope that it isn’t anything serious. Other than that the colony looks good. They are expanding quickly and very active. I will check them again soon to see if I need to add more bars for them.

Peeking in
Peeking in
Looking at the bars
Looking at the bars
Dysentery?
Dysentery?
Raised divider
Raised divider
Opening the hive
Opening the hive
Comb that was stuck to the divider board
Comb that was stuck to the divider board
Honey!
Honey!

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