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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 16th year of beekeeping in April 2021. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

Even if you find one post on the subject, I've posted a lot on basic beekeeping skills like installing bees, harvesting honey, inspecting the hive, etc. so be sure to search for more once you've found a topic of interest to you. And watch the useful videos and slide shows on the sidebar. All of them have captions. Please share posts of interest via Facebook, Pinterest, etc.

I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a
Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Checking on Lisa's Hive

We checked on Lisa's hive when we installed the swarm at Blue Heron yesterday.  We haven't inspected this hive since we moved it about three weeks ago.

The news wasn't great.  We thought the hive felt really light when we moved it.  Remember three of us picked it up and I had so little/no weight that I was bearing so I let go to take pictures?

Inside we found in the upper box frames that were barely drawn and not used.

The hive had what I think were earwigs (see bug at the bottom of the frame) living in it throughout the hive.

We found brood that was spotty and dead and old in the bottom box.  But there were two queen cells that had been opened - one ripped open on the left and the other properly opened on the right indicating that the queen had emerged and killed the remaining queen in her cell.

We also found lots of stored and crystallized sugar syrup.

There was about a baseball sized handful of bees.  But in the medium box we found three frames with new brood and some eggs.  The size of the new brood area was small but the queen can't lay more than the bees can manage to nurse.

Just yesterday on the Beemaster forum, Michael Bush wrote that if he had only a baseball sized cluster of bees, he would try at this time of year to give them the resources to succeed.

We decided to reduce this hive to the medium with the three brood frames.  Julia and Noah will bring them a frame of brood and eggs from another hive at their house.  We also took out some of the old-comb frames and substituted new foundationless frames to give them a healthier start.

Noah brushed all the bees from the deep frames into the only-medium remaining box.  This hive was quite a contrast to 2Cat which we had just installed.

We put the lovely top cover on this now tiny hive and left it with hope for the future.

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