Brian, exactly what I have seen. Exactly, can you read the minds????Hee, hee. I am not kidding though, you are bang on right. I was so surprised, shocked. The upper super was filled end to end with capped honey (probably a good part 2:1 sugar syrup), some lower parts of some frames not filled. The 10th frame was the inner feeder, which of course was empty.
I took off the second super, placed it carefully on the lid, sideways, as we all know we should place it, so as not to hurt as many bees. I had looked thoroughly through this super. It was jam packed, narry a space where the queen could have possibly wanted to or even had a chance to lay eggs. Looks like they have excellent stores for the winter.
In this lower chamber there was not as much sweet stuff stored. So....back to the second box. I removed 4 frames of partially capped, full frames of nectar/honey from the top super and placed frames in the lower box, these being placed in the outermost positions, completely removing the frames that had not been worked. They were foundation only. The bottom super had lots of room for the queen to lay, should the bees decide that she should. I would imagine that they would want some new bees for wintertime, but then, that would be against these laws of nature, eh?
Down to the bottom box. There I saw this lady, full grown, the long and heavy looking abdomen, I looked deeply for eggs, I may have seen a couple, but then I imagine that my imagination got the better of me, probably there was no eggs, let alone brood. She was busy though, I saw her place her head into several cells, observing, calibrating the size. Still, many drones walking around these combs in the bottom super, their great big bug eyes bugging out!!! Aren't they the weirdest looking of the clan?
Hmm...where was I? I got kind of side-tracked as I was busy catching a bee that must have been in my hair for several hours, I had it in a bun, until I brushed it. Go figure that one, but that is another story.....
So, back to the short trip to the beeyard in that little window of sunshine, that was strong, but so short.
In the second super, which had undrawn foundation removed, I placed two frames of brood comb that I had had stored, beautiful, dark brood comb. This is all done with the hope that maybe the bees will convince the queen to lay lots of brood to help them through the winter. This is a long shot, but we are going to try. I have two terrarium heaters. I will place one of them within this colony, hoping that the bees still feel that it is worthy time to rear some brood, enough anyways to get them through this thing we call winter.
I have given them a pollen patty, which is all consumed (this colony has several frames of pollen stored, yeah, yeah, yeah). I will make some more pollen patty and give them more. I am giving them their last dinner of 2:1 sugar syrup. Their hive is pretty full of food for winter, and they will have time to cap this honey, so that no moisture from the hive is absorbed in cells that are not capped over. This is my wish for this colony, and again, time will be the teller of this tale.
Back to the bee in my hair. I am sitting in my bedroom on the chair beside my patio. I am ready to call it a day, typing this post. I have brushed my hair, it is no longer in the bun that I put it in when I know that I don't want hair to be in my face. A few minutes later I hear a buzzing sound. Nope, could not be a bee, no way on this good green earth would a bee be in this room at this time of day, several hours past their bedtime too. I look to the dim light beside me, sure enough, there is a honeybee buzzing and buzzing around this light. Eeeks...oh brother. So, I go to the kitchen, grab a glass and catch this bee in this glass. I go to the kitchen to get some saran wrap, place it on top of the glass and secure it, making some tiny little holes for it to have air. Ooops, what is it going to do for some energy to last the night until I can release it infront of one of the colonies in the morning, when the air has warmed. Right, I have a little bit of comb that I think has some honey in it. I take a tiny little piece of it, lift the plastic wrap, eeeks!!! The bee flies out. Oh brother, here we go again, I reach into the air and catch the honeybee in my hand, gently, no sting, I place it back into the glass and close the plastic wrap, so I thought. Oh no, the bee gets out again, I reach out and grab her as she is flying away to the light in the centre of the kitchen island. I catch her again, again no sting, put her back into the glass. She is finally caught and safely in this glass that I can release her in the morning.
I take this glass, put it on the mantle in the living room, where it is dark and quiet (and where I can't hear her buzzing trying to get out of the glass). We will see how she is in the morning. My dream, she lives and can return to the home that she calls home.
Have a great night, wonderful day, and the best of our life wishes for you all. Cindi