Holy cawcadoodle!!!! What a day with the bees, I was out with them a total of 6 hours (but that included a break in the shade with my husband and bee pal, Steve, enjoying a cold brew).
Back to the chalkbrood colony. I took that ball in my hands and did what I thought would be best. I went into the chalkbrood colony, found the poor ol' queen and "off with her head". I closed up the colony and proceeded to inspect. I found another colony that could have used a little more help with extra bees and took this chalkbrood colony and put it in top, with the newspaper in between. I had ensured the chalkbrood colony was amalgamated into one box. There was quite a bit of emerging brood and many nurse and adults. The colony that I united it with was right beside it, so the forager bees would not have too much trouble finding their way home into the new home. Bearing pollen, water, nectar, they would be readily accepted. I also smoke these two colonies heavily to help to disguise the hive scent too, hoping that this will keep them all rather calm. I imagine by tomorrow they will be through the newspaper and having a great old time meeting new pals
I can't imagine having any more than 10 colonies ever to look after. That was a gruelling day, enjoyable yes, but very time consuming. I checked each colony indepth and it takes time in the hot, hot sun. I take my hats off to you all that work with your bees, even a bigger hat taker off to those that keep more than 10, and you are many, yeah!!! Good for you guys.
This is amazing!!! The original overwintered colony that I babied through with a terrarium heater is just a gang buster. This is the colony that I had made a cut down split with, moved the queen into the nuc and allowed the original overwintered colony to make its own queen. It is overflowing with bees, again. The nuc that I made from it has gone nuts too!!! Yeah, gonna have some pretty strong colonies going into winter.
So I took 3 frames of emerging brood and a shake of bees from that hive and gave it to another hive that needed some additional bees. Even after the frames and bees were taken out, the hive is still booming. The hive that I gave the bees and frames too, will be about the same size as the other colonies. No weak colonies out in my yard now, yeah! Yeah!!!!!
The still strong, overpopulated, overwintered colony, in the next few days, I am going to make a 5 frame nuc from for the wintertime. My Asian mentor has a couple of queens available and I think that I might as well utilize the extra bees. When the bees get ready for that winter clustering, I have concern that extra younger bees would not be allowed to overwinter in the hive and would lose their life needlessly. This is the understanding that I got, the winter cluster is only "allowed" by the bees to be a certain size? Correct? Comments?
Honey? I don't think this is the year of honey, maybe still to come, the flow is still strong, but I am not counting on it. This is my year for build-up for mountains of honey next year (maybe just like Dane's flow!!!!!).
Have a wonderful day, beautiful life and best of healthy wishes. Cindi