That's a lotta bees . . .

Discussion in 'Bees' started by ablanton, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. ablanton

    ablanton New Member

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    I'm a new beek beginning my second year, so I was blown away when I opened the hives today. I didn't have this many bees all summer last year, and it's only February! My 8-frame hive was was so packed, I couldn't count the frames.
    IMAG0259.jpg
    I have over-wintered them with two deeps and one medium super of honey. I have not fed them at all since last summer. When I pulled the super off, there was drone comb between the boxes that got ripped open. All three boxes were as packed as this picture. I added another super with 8 frames of foundation. The wind was blowing and they were in a pissy mood, so I didn't look for swarm cells. Is this many bees normal for February, or are they over-crowded?

    My second hive is a 10-frame. It was healthy too, but not as packed as the 8-frame. It is only two deeps. I didn't have a super ready, so I pulled two frames of honey out and replaced with two new frames of foundation.
    IMAG0261.jpg
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    They are looking good. Keep the super space available and you may get a bumper crop this year. Don't let them get full.
     

  3. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Looks like they are starting to ramp up the population for spring, looking good.
     
  4. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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    Excellent start of the second year, make sure you have enough boxes
     
  5. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Looks like fun is about to start! I can't wait till spring for my second .year to begin...I think I will be surprised at the amount of bee too..
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    really the question you should be asking (searching for) and most especially with that kind of population is.... do the hives still have weight and some significant food reserves? with that many bees (and one might suspect a good deal of brood) you had better plan on them NOT running out of feed in the next 30 days.

    the drone comb ripped apart between the frames is a good place to do an informal survey for varroa. they show up very nicely on the all white drone larvae.
     
  7. ablanton

    ablanton New Member

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    The boxes were still quite heavy and there were several frames of capped honey. Is it enough to last until the flow starts? Well, I'm too inexperienced to really know. But, I'm sure this North Carolina weather will give me plenty of opportunities to peek in every couple of weeks and keep a check on it.

    I did look at a few of the larvae for varroa, but I didn't actually start digging through it. The few that I looked at appeared to be mite-free.