Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Movin' on Up...

Today I added a second large brood box on top of each of my two hives of honeybees. A few days ago I inspected most of the frames and found my two colonies had almost filled their living quarters in the first deep brood boxes. You don't want your queen to run out of places to lay, and you don't want the bees to become overcrowded, or they will begin to make swarm preparations. That will lead to losing half your bees! So when they become crowded, you either add more brood space or you split your colony into two or more hives.
Most hives in northern cold winter areas need the equivalent of two large brood boxes for overwintering, so today I added the second brood boxes. I shifted a couple of frames between the bottom and top boxes to encourage them to move back and forth between the two boxes.

The hives look so tall now! You can also see the nifty new ventilated inner covers I bought, with screened ventilation holes all around and a dead air space inside. I can use this in the winter with foam insulation as well, which will help ventilation and reduce winter condensation. Those are the chairs I have for sitting and meditating on my bees, also for the braver guests. ;) Click on the pictures for larger versions.
With all the manipulating of frames around today in both hives, I was lucky not to have been stung!

1 comment:

  1. We just added our 2nd hive body also. It is so exciting to see the colony grow. Your hives look great!