Hi everyone, so i had a professional bee maintenance company come and check the hive with me just to make sure all was going ok on Monday. A really nice guy who has been doing it for decades. A few observations from the day
my 2 empty frames installed with the fully formed 6 frames delivered a month ago are now fully formed, if a little wonky.
The older frames that came with the hive have been re-filled variously with honey and brood but are VERY thick in some cases
The beeguy said that there was A LOT of honey and not much brood, and also that the numbers were still quite low. he suggested the queen wasn’t laying properly as there should be much more brood. (from the photos below you will see the brood distribution, would you agree?)
He inspected without removing one frame to make the removal of others easier, which caused alot of the bulging honey in 2 frames to be damaged and spilled quite alot of honey outside the hive. (Shouldn’t that be standard practice?)
he told me to leave the super off so they would build up brood instead of still collecting nectar, which doesn’t make sense to me. (would they need the extra honey super storage room to free up some of the space?)
I’ve removed the entrance reducer (a piece of bamboo held in place reducing to only about 15 cm entrance) and the whole landing board is much busier and seems quite well protected.
A couple things that made me nervous about the beeguy’s knowledge - possibly unfounded! :
- the issue with non removal of one frame and resulting spilled honey
- him telling me not to clean it up from under the hive and let the bees do it - resulting in a sea of ants under and now in the hive. I cleaned it up a couple hours later and thenats seem to have reduced in 2 days. Haven’t seen in the hive though.
- couldn’t find the queen, and said she wasn’t laying despite me seeing small and large larvaein the few pics i managed to take which the internet tells me is about 5 - 7 days old. so she’s been doing something.
- he mentioned i need more potplants and flowers in my courtyard and said they needed more forage potential event though i pointed out that I live within 1 km of the huge Sydney University campus and a few parks with a tonne of flowering native and non-native trees and huge gardens. And also, about 30 varieties of suggested bee flowering plants and vegetables in the courtyard anyway
- Should i put the super on for more space for the queen to lay, or was he right in leaving it off for another month?
- Should i put the reducer back on even though the whole entrance seems filled with bees
- will the ants have set up shop in the beehive? should iinspect prior to end Jan?
Thanks for any advice!