The weather has been miserable here, rain and thunderstorms pretty much daily for a week. The ladies don't like it when the skies are grey; they get grumpy and aggressive when their home is disturbed. For this reason I don't check on them so much during weather like this. I am content with the knowledge that the nectar and pollen are flowing and they really don't need me messing around with them anyway. They are perfectly fine on their own, thank you very much. After all they probably have been making honey longer than we have been bearing fur.
Let's update shall we. It's been a long time since the last post and to recap, due to queen failure in Hive B, I combined it with Hive A. Well I am happy to say that little adventure was a success. The two colonies have come together like long lost twins and are happily going about their business as one cohesive unit. The newspaper, which was used to keep the two hives temporarily separate has been mostly eaten away: only about a third of it remains between the two hives and I have decided not to disturb it but to let the bees continue to clean it. They chew pieces off and carry them out the front opening. Tidy.
It is finally a nice warm, sunny day so I opened the hive to check on them. The seem happy and fairly prosperous. They did not well up toward the surface like I would like to see them do but there are really only four to five combs drawn out in the top box(formerly Hive B). It is obvious the queen has been up in the top box as there are several frames that have larva filled capped cells in them. The population should surge soon and then I should see the welling up of bees indicating a strong population. They are multiplying and expanding, yippee. I did not go into the bottom box but was able to look at it through the top box with a few frames removed. There are a lot of bees in the bottom box, very densely populated. Exciting.
Other than the this the only other thing I did today was to remove the entrance reducer. This is a piece of wood with gaps cut into it. It is place into the hive entrance for the purpose of limited the exposure of the hive to the outside. I guess the idea is that with this in place a hive with a small population with have less doorway to patrol and secure from outside invaders of which there are many. With the current population, they should have no difficulty protecting the entrance and I figure ventilation will improve with a larger opening. Like all animals, the ladies do like their air. Good airflow keeps molds and mildews down and makes it easier for them to regulate the the temperature of the colony when the hot weather hits in about two weeks.
Here is an interesting link concerning the EPA, pesticides and bees that Ciara sent to me: EPA lacks guts and teeth.
Next time I am in the hive I am going to try to record the sound of all the bees to share.