Recordkeeping

Feel free to skip this post if you’re not interested in the minutiae of beekeeping; this is just recordkeeping. I keep hoping somebody will come out with an app for beeks, but so far, all I’ve found are glorified ebooks telling newbies how to set up a hive and whatnot — nice but useless for my purposes. In the meantime, I’ll just keep records here.

Mid-April 2012: Opened hives for inspection. All colonies progressing relatively well except Hive 3 (newer Buckfast), which seemed a bit sluggish. Minor hive beetle infestation in Hive 1 (Italians); evidence of beetles in 2 and 3 as well, but nothing serious. Good brood pattern in all four hives. Will need supers for all within the next month if nectar flow continues at current rate. All colonies smell good.

April 21: Could smell bees all the way to the back door. VERY good sign. Colonies all appear active and healthy.

May 1: Installed shallow supers on Hives 1, 3 and 4 (swarm hive). Hive 2 will need a super within the next couple of weeks. Need to order more supers from Dadant.

May 5: Discovered evidence of tampering in Hive 3. Learned that two men (non-beeks) had attempted to look into and/or remove honey from hive while we were out the evening of May 4. Girls successfully defended hive and drove away intruders. Top super damaged beyond repair. Installed old super full of Ross Rounds to keep colony from running out of space and swarming in interim. Hopeful that bees will accept unfamiliar setup; previous efforts to get them to use RRs have been unsuccessful. Concerned about possibility of swarm. Awaiting shipment from Dadant.

May 6-8: Bees in Hive 3 still agitated. Bearding more heavily than other colonies.

May 9: Bees in Hive 3 starting to settle down but still more agitated and bearding more heavily than usual.

May 10: Dadant shipment in. Will prep on Saturday and install new supers as needed Sunday.

May 12: Installed new shallow supers on Hives 2 and 4. Hive 4 has filled an entire super since May 1 and is halfway finished capping it. Hive 3 appears to be accepting Ross Rounds. Hive 1 has drawn out comb on all frames and is rapidly filling them. Some capping already in progress. Will need new super within a week if this pace continues. Airing out frames for that purpose this week.

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