I’ve been inspecting my hives for hive beetle and swarm cells. I’ve made a couple of “discoveries” I should have known about earlier.
Firstly “The twist”.
I’ve watched dozens, perhaps hundreds of you tube videos and seen beeks lifting off supers. As they do, they generally give the super a little “twist” once they prise it loose with the hive tool. Two days ago I found out why this twist is necessary.
My flow hive super is sitting on a lovely strong 8 frame hive and I wanted to check the brood box out. I loosened the super OK and then lifted it straight up. I was heavier than I expected and felt a bit awkward. Two of the frames of brood were stuck on the bottom of the super They fell off to one side of the hive and the bees got very angry, very quickly. Luckily I had the suit on. Now I know the importance of the “twist”. Turning the super as soon as it’s loose breaks any burr comb between the bee boxes.
Secondly “The big gap”.
I had combined a couple of weaker colonies into a double decker pair of nuc boxes. I ended up with 9 frames in the two boxes instead of ten. I left a space to one side of the top box intending to add another frame as soon as the colony was strong enough. Of course I forgot and the bees built a lovely straight comb against the side of the box. I was able to trim the comb back to fit a Langstroth frame and fix it in place with rubber bands.
I saved the trimmings and used Jeff’s technique to test the honey. It isn’t ripe so I’m using half of it straight away and giving the rest to my neighbours. I was surprised at just how much comb I needed to trim back. The girls had been very busy.
The gap in the top of the comb is where I cut out some brace? comb. The girls had turned the honeycomb pattern through 90 degrees and built themselves some reinforcement.