What did you do in your apiary today?

There has been some great discussion in the introduction thread

…but if you’ve been here a while and not sure where to post, I thought a general and open ended thread about what everyone is up to would be an excellent ice breaker and opportunity to start discussions on a wide range of beekeeping topics.

If you don’t think you need a new topic for your photos, thoughts or ideas, post them up here so others can see what you’re up to!

I’ll start with the weekend just gone… with a random selection

A couple of weeks ago I put a hive back together and didn’t place the top feeder back in the hive when sealing it up (which acts like a crown board/top cover) and didn’t think much of it. Fast forward a couple of weeks and a honey flow later and I have a lid full of about 3kg of honey…

One of my larger hives had a bit of a tilt after the recent storm… so sured it up with some spare bricks and some builders wedges until I can get in to take some weight off it :smiley:

Lastly I thought i’d try my luck with some more new frames before the season was out… let’s see how they go :sweat_smile:

Knocked these up last week and modified a box to hold them.
Might put them on a hive tomorrow if it looks like we have enough of a flow to get them drawn and filled quickly.
Plan is to sell them as is frame and all, ideal depth frames modified to half lenght. I am hoping if they arent drawn to plump I might get away vacuum sealing without crushing the comb.IMG_0136

Nice idea… like a sligtly large Hogg Halfcomb setup

Definitely keep us updated on this… are you planning to use wax starter strips in the frames?

Do you have any construction photos? always keen to see modified hives and what people have come up with and interested in how to modified the top bars so cleanly. :smiley:

I did the first frame with nothing more than a leatherman tool while I was in Sydney a few weekends back to show my brother who does 4 farmers markets a week up there and see what he thought of the idea.
Made up a rough timber jig for the basic cuts and did the rest with nothing more than a handsaw, chisel and file. Took about 2.5hrs to cut modify and assemble them, If it proves viable I will probably set the router up to do most of it and significantly speed up the time. Box modification was simple nothing more than a notch cut either side of the box and a bit of dressed 2x1 pine put in as a frame rest then another small piece of pine to fill the small hole left at the top of the box.
Yes I have put a small starter strip of foundation in them, would like to have tried a few with thin foundation but I didnt have any so will see how they go with a starter strip

Extracted 3 remaining flow frames that I took honey off a week ago. Thought the hive I took a deep off last week might have finished capping another box but not quite, one box is about 85% capped the other a bit over 50%. They are still on a good flow, I put the stickies back on Wednesday above a inner cover with a feed hole.
My thinking was with the stickies above the inner cover the bees would be more inclined to clean them quickly and move anything they could salvage down thinking the box wasnt really part of the hive. Worked to an extent, they have cleaned them but already filled one frame and were working on a second.I pulled the box and have given them the mini ideal frames to work on.

Had a look at a couple of nucs I made almost 1 month ago, both have been busy with no brood to care for and I had to put a second 5 frame box of foundation on each after about 2 weeks. Both have drawn them out and have a heap of honey and pollen stored. Found a small patch of eggs on the second frame I pulled from the first nuc. I didnt look further it was enough confirmation a mated queen has made it back to the nuc. No luck with the second, I will give them another week and if still no evidence of a queen try a find a mated queen at short notice or combine them.

Assisting a beekeeper with their Flow Hive inspection the other day as they are new to beekeeping and wanted to ensure that their hive inspection went off without any hitches.

The first thing they immediately had a problem with was the removal of the roof. After significant effort and a hell of a lot of leverage with the hive tool we managed (together) to remove the lid.

I know, I hear what your thinking and what some of you are now yelling at the PC, how can this be so bloody difficult, what the hell were you both doing so bloody wrong that made the removal of the lid a two person job.

Well, hopefully the image below will help remind us all that this is a bumper honey harvest year regardless of your hive type and that no matter what you think that your bees are doing you must MUST undertake regular inspections of your hive/s.

Please note: the hive in question was a standard 2017 Spring Flow Hive purchase and was constructed in accordance with the instructions, all of the honeycomb that you can see was built by the bees above the timber inner cover between it and the A frame roof.

I have titled the image ‘bad joojoo’ as no other apt description came to mind at the time or since.

Anyway, thought that this was again worth sharing, sorry about the image but the phone camera we had was very basic.

Opened my hive up last weekend. Most of the frames were pretty full, the bees all looked happy and busy. But I did notice on a couple of the older frames (that came from the NUC I bought) that the capping on the cells has a small bit of black to it. I’ve googled and couldn’t find anything to suggest it was bad, but I thought I would ask here just in case. Photo:

Sorry I did trim the photo to just include the relevant area, but it seems my editing program didn’t update the metadata or something, so the forum still thinks it is original size…

Is it a older frame that has previously had brood in it?

Yes. The nuc was mostly brood, as I recall.

Total speculation but just wondering if they have reworked some of the darker brood comb wax into the cappings.

Agree with this, the wax has been re-used and will be dark in patches.

You can see a visual comparison here:

The above was after only one or two generations of brood in the frame, the wax in the frame will get darker the longer it has been brooded in.

Thank you @rbk and @220. I was mostly confident that it wasn’t anything to worry about, but only “mostly”. It is reassuring to have that confirmed!

Grabbed some photos off my phone from various expeditions over the last couple of weeks. These probably aren’t your traditional style beekeeping photos :smiley:

I really like these photos. They are the result of placing a WSP depth frame (3/4 frame) into a full depth super. What’s great about them is that they show the very obvious difference between worker sized comb (inside the frame) and drone comb (attached to the bottom of the frame). If you look at the cell sizes at the bottom of the photos it’s very clear. This also shows nicely the difference in colour between brooded in comb and freshly drawn comb.

This is an example of adding a super to a strong hive without adding frames. The intentions were right… but for whatever reason, the frames didn’t make it back in the hive in time. Why stop at foundationless? frameless is back in style. :star_struck:

This one looks like a horror show but it’s perfectly fine. This photo is of the inside of a top feeder. When removing frames for extraction, I placed burr comb that contained honey into the top feeder and opened the cap in the centre to allow the bees access (this is only accessible inside the hive). The bees then came up through the centre hole and cleaned up the honey from the wax. After a few days the ‘cleaned up’ wax can be removed and melted down without having to deal with excess honey dripping (which is the reason I don’t have a matching before photo :smiley: ).

Lastly… my entry for smallest swarm of the season :worried: any challengers?

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Still a honey flow in some parts of Canberra? :crazy_face:

One week without frames in a super (not advisable!)… and this inverted lid tells the story.