AS well as taking a little honey from my bees, it is time to think about doing everything I can to ensure their survival through our brutal winters. My rule is two full supers of honey per hive by winter. Two hives are looking quite short so I have begun to supplement feed them already. I know it is early but they need a little help until the late summer flowers start to bloom.
The weak hive will never get up to par before winter. You will remember that we checked it for mites and disease on Tuesday. All clean. It will be combined with the Blog hive. The Blog Hive is roaring ahead very quickly increasing its numbers and storing away its honey. It is a calm strong hive that will be grateful for the extra hands I hope. We will use the newspaper method for the merger. Kind of ironic actually. Newspapers and mergers!
The weak hive appears queenless. They have gathered some honey which is good.
I could find no larvae in the hive at all. Weirdly I cannot see any queen cells either. Also it appears that the hive has more drones than usual. Which happens in the absence of a queen bee. The queen in the Blog Hive will have something to say about them I am sure.
OK, I talked to the weak hive telling them that it might be scary at first but I was sure they would make friends at their new condo and if they got bored waiting they could read the newspaper before they started eating it. Then I moved their super (the super is the box full of bees) closer to the Blog Hive. Then I took the TOP super off the Blog Hive, laid a sheet of newspaper over the top of the BOTTOM Blog super and its nosy bees. (They got the comic strips). I made a tiny slit in the paper with a knife. I positioned the Weak Hive super on top of the newspaper, then another sheet of newspaper on top of that, another slit and the second Blog Hive super returned to the top.
In two weeks I will go back and take a look. By then bees should have nibbled through the paper. Thereby slowly getting acquainted with the each other. Hopefully the new bees will be absorbed into their hive. The queen will have them smacked around the head a bit for being such bad housekeepers and then set them to work. The drones will be sent out to sit on rocks and sulk. Here it is all closed up again. I hope I have not started a war.
You can see the newspaper above and below the Weak hive.
No that is not a shot of my brain! Though my brain often feels a little green and soppy!!