Monday, April 25, 2016

What Is Going On In Maria's Apiary: More Equalizing and Getting Ready for Splits

Bees are boiling over the sides while equalizing the brood
The queen bee, doing her best to populate the brood nest
As I mentioned last week, there are many ways to make sure that your honey bee hives are of the same strength. The easiest way is to switch the place of a weak hive with that of a strong one. Another technique is to equalize brood.

This weekend, I equalized brood. My goal was twofold:

  • I wanted to make sure that all the hives will have similarly sized population of foragers for the honey flow. 
  • I wanted to use the "extra" frames of brood for my splits this coming Wednesday.

To make sure that I have adequate workforce to make the best of the honey flow, I would like to see 6 frames of brood in each hive. Since I kept equalizing the foragers in the prior weeks, all my hives had their 6 frames of brood. In fact, six of them had anywhere from 2-4 extra brood frames. Perfect for my splits.

One of the most time consuming parts in making a split is making sure I don't transfer the queen by accident. I kept my eye out for her when rearranging the brood frames and got extremely lucky - I was able to spot her in every hive. A quick shake is all it took to make sure she's in the bottom brood chamber and under the queen excluder. The extra brood frames went on top of the excluder, so all I have to do on Wednesday is to grab the top brood box, put it on its own bottom board and place the new queen.