An aquaintance asked me to help him go through his colonys yesterday. He said they were mean as hell. He also said he had a colony abscond, and one he started from a package this year. I asked him when the last time he had gone through them. He said never, he just pulled the top 2 boxes off and extracted them each year. UH OH
I smoked them and pulled the top box. All capped honey. Mad bees. I pulled the second box, same as before...all capped honey and more angry bees. At this point, I was using a wire to pull through the burr comb to "saw" the boxes apart. The second deep was a disaster. Hanging comb, burred up so badly, the frames came apart before they would budge. He had only put 9 frames of foundation in. No sign of a queen, no brood of any age, no eggs, just alot of angry bees. I'm sure they swarmed and the virgin queen never made it back. The bottom box was worse, and it appeared he had tried to look in there once, broke a couple frames, so just left the comb standing on the bottom board. Queenless pretty much explains their poor attitude initially. And just got worse and worse as I broke things down. Both my hands took some punishment and looks like catchers mitts this morning. I was anxious to get out of there, but now, I'm interested in how things work out. Guess I will wonder back over there next week.