Sunday, June 1, 2014

Bee space

Today we added another deep body to our brood chambers. Actually, we took the feed buckets out of the upper deep, removed the inner cover from the hive, and pulled the two outer frames out of the brood body. The bees of the Valentinium had drawn the wax out of the outer side and there was uncapped honey on the inner side.  We inspected one of the central frames (the sixth one going from east to west) and saw plenty of capped comb (Brood? Pollen?) but also, on the other side, plenty of uncapped honey; the frame was so heavy, I had trouble gripping it with my fingertips. We made two outer frames (the first and tenth, going east to west) the center of the upper brood deep, and replaced them with foundationless frames for drone comb. We then added 6 deep frames with foundation to the upper deep, with two foundationless frames in the outer position and placed it above the lower deep. Then we placed the inner cover, upside down as usual, on top of the upper deep, and placed our two shallow supers over it, and the feed bucket in the two supers. We needed two supers, because the bucket is too tall for one. It felt like half a gallon left in the bucket. Then we placed the outer cover on top. Oops, the inner cover is on backwards; the exit faces forward (north) just like the main entrance. Oh well.

We did the same for the Benedictium. I saw no ants to speak of in there, whew! Their outer frames were less drawn out than those of the Valentinium. We did not remove one of the central frames to look at it. It felt like most of the feed was left in the Benedictium's feed bucket. I wonder if that was because their burr comb had blocked the entrance to the bucket?

I hope the bees enjoy all their new space. I wonder what they will do with the foundationless frames? I hope this fulfills their apparent drive to make burr comb.

Addenda, frames and supers:

Putting new supers on the Valentinium with the Apiariella:

Pulling a frame from the Benedictium while the Apiariulus looks on:

Closing up our now taller hives:

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