Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fall Beehive Inspections

We had a wonderful weekend with highs in the 70s and low 80s and light winds. It was ideal to do an inspection of our beehives to see if they are ready for winter. It was mostly bad news again.
This is one of the center frames from the upper box of Hive #1 (survivor colony). They have a bit more honey in the edges of the box, but they are in bad shape regarding reserves and will starve without more honey.

This is brood chamber (lower) from Hive #1. As you can see there is nearly no brood and we saw no larvae and no eggs. This looks like a death sentence for this colony. We put on a pollen patty and will start feeding winter syrup, but it may be too late.

This frame is from the upper box of Hive #2 (feral colony). They seem to have one box full of honey, with a bit more in the middle box. We harvested nothing from this colony this year.

This frame is from the middle box of Hive #2. There was some capped brood, but we saw almost no larvae or eggs.

This frame is the honey stores from the upper chamber of Hive #3 (2009 package colony).

This frame is from the center brood chamber of hive #3. Where is the brood?

Lower level frame from hive #3. No brood, no pollen, no honey.

We put pollen patties on all three hives to try to encourage some new brood, but it looks like it's going to be a tough winter for our bees.