Very Strong Meadow Hive

Very Strong Meadow Hive

It’s been a month and a half since I have been in this hive. The last inspection was July 7th, before I left for Norway. I have been putting it off because I have been having difficulty working this hive. On August 19th, I figured it had been long enough and decided to get into the hive. My goal is to take one more bar out and put in a divider board. Adding the divider board will hopefully make it a little easier to get into the hive.

This colony is still very large. They look amazing and have so much honey. I was able to remove another full bar with capped honey. The bar was all the way at the end of the hive so it wasn’t too hard to get the bees off of it. The majority of the bees were not at the very ends, but there were still a lot of bees throughout the hive.

The bees in the Meadow Hive tend to be more aggressive when I am inspecting their hive. Before inspecting today, I made sure to get some high top boots so that the bees can not get to my ankles again. Now that I am fully protected I can feel more confident getting into the hive with the grumpy bees. The last time that I had a colony this aggressive, they did very well and made it through the winter. I am looking forward to seeing how the winter goes for this colony.

At this point it is looking like I will not need to feed them since there is capped honey and nectar on every bar. There is also plenty of pollen and they are bringing in a lot more every day. Even with all of the food stored in the hive, there is still lots of brood. They had at least 7 bars with eggs, but it may have been 9 bars. For the other 2 bars, I wasn’t sure if there were eggs there or not.

They had 9 bars with larvae and 20 bars with capped brood, including some drone brood. The queen should be about done with laying drone eggs for the year. Every fall the colonies remove all of the drones from their hives since the drones are a resource suck in the fall and winter. Once the drones are kicked out of the hive they die off.

Inspections seem to be getting a little easier each time. It helps to keep working with the bars to become more familiar with them. I am still having difficulty working with these bars. The hive seems too tight and I find getting the bars out a challenge. When I am removing a comb from the hive, I don’t want to damage it. I also am finding that the bees are getting stuck on the edges under the bars. I am not sure how to get the bees out of the way, I have tried all of my tricks and they are not working. I will keep working on getting better at this.

This colony is my most prolific colony since I started beekeeping. I have taken about 20 pounds of honey from this hive so far this season. I have not ever been able to take this much honey out of a first year colony. It seems like they are in a good location and have everything that they need to stay strong. Right now I am feeling pretty confident about not needing to intervene for winter, but I will continue to inspect them until the cold weather sets in.

Front door
Lots of bees
On top
Food and brood
Close up
Clean up crew