Hello all -
Stats on my two hives – both are Russian’s with open mated queens. I started with two locally produced NUCS which I obtained the first week of May. Both are drawing out honey supers now and have plenty of capped brood in the lower boxes on the verge of hatching. A three day mite drop count revealed zero mites. I use cookie sheets filled with diatomaceous earth under my SBB as SHB suppression and it seems to be working well. I am finding dead beetles in the DE but don’t see any live SHB in my supers.
Recently I have taken up the idea of regression and have been slowly inserting foundationless frames in my two hives > (Thanks to Michael Bush!)
I started by adding two frames to each of the bottom brood boxes about four weeks ago. I inspected the hives yesterday and found both frames almost totally drawn out with straight, beautiful white comb! And on one of the two frames the queen had obviously been busy laying because there was a bunch of larva and even some capped brood already.
I am interested in going as natural as possible with a goal to produce local, hygienic, survivor hives that I can split and provide to others to propagate healthy, local bee's.
I am feeding both hives 1:1 to stimulate brood production and keep them motivated to build up winter stocks. I’m hoping that I will not have to feed these hives after this first year.
Finally I have started taking macro close ups of the bees and am getting some interesting pictures.