I Think The Bees Are On To Us

Just a short update on the old bees. Yesterday, Mr. Neil, Lorraine and I checked on the beehives.

The Olga hive is really expanding with comb honey and I'm very hopeful for what she will do for us next summer. She's got three deep brood boxes (the large ones on the bottom) full of brood and honey for winter, and the top three smaller boxes are the honey supers for us. Two are the Ross Rounds and one is the cut comb honey kit which had some melting issues earlier in the summer and is now full of burr comb. Ah well, in the end it's all edible.

One of the Ross Rounds super is almost completely ready to harvest, almost all the frames are capped. We should be able to take it out next week. Up until this point, we've been putting an extra empty frame in our third brood box. We've just been harvesting it there from time to time. The frame is empty, but the bees are perfectly capable of drawing out comb without foundation.

However, I think the Olga bees are on to us. When I opened the box, I could see comb from the frame attached to the wall. I tried to pull the frame out, but it felt stuck. We took out the frame next to it out for a closer look inside.

Sure enough, the girls had drawn out their own foundation from the wall to the frame, making it impossible for us to harvest. It was as if they were saying, "Ha ha, take that, thieving humans." So, no honey harvest this time, but next week (insert maniacal giggle) we shall plunder the honey supers and no amount of propolis will stop us.

On our way to check the Kitty hive's progress we found a grasshopper waiting for us on the outside. You would think that they could sense all the activity in the hive and would want to stay away. You can hear much more activity before you open the box--the most I've heard in weeks. The brood has definitely hatched.

The girls still have not quite drawn out all the frames in the third brood box, but they are over halfway there and with more workers hatching every day, I feel that they will be ready by the end of August. Above is some of the freshly drawn out comb, see the little glob of bright yellow? Some worker has just deposited some pollen stores.

We found more freshly laid eggs, which means Queen Kitty II was here sometime in the last three days. As we were checking this hive, I suddenly realized that next month I will need to begin preparations to overwinter the bees. They will have to be sealed up in October and I won't be able to check on them every seven to ten days. What on earth am I going to do with myself between October and April?