The hive has been steadily gaining weight after my last feeding. Due to life happening as it does it’s been three weeks since my last inspection, so I squeezed on in before work this morning.
They are drawing out the comb a little more but still need to fill in quite a bit more, I was surprised to see that. But there are pretty good bands of nearly capped honey above two of the frames and nectar in quite a few more, so I know they have plenty of forage, and stores now. They have some really big blocks of pollen in the brood nest area, so my observations of the Italians being better pollen foragers seems to be correct. There has never been this much pollen stored until now.
One interesting behavior that I noticed was that the frame facing the side of the hive that gets direct sunlight for most of the day is almost completely undrawn still at this point however the entire face of the foundation was full of either nectar or honey. It appears they are using this frame on the hottest side of the hive to act as a swamp cooler/honey making station. Has anyone else seen this behavior.
On that note, they are working much harder on the far side of the hive which I have been referring to as the “cool side”. Should I try to shade the other side of the hive to encourage them to work that frame for more then evaporating nectar?
All in all I think they are doing really well considering the monster temps we have been seeing the last two weeks. And I was able to find the queen she was plugging away laying eggs on one of the middle frames. There was a good amount of capped brood, and tons of eggs and larvae so she is still going strong.