Last weekend was also the PSBA picnic and a few of us stayed around for the apiary inspection. I was able to tackle several of the hives I didn't get to on the previous inspection and update the notes. I will say while I like Top Bar Hives, it's so much easier to be a "lazy beekeeper" with Langstroth hives because the bees can't mess them up as much as they can in a top bar if you aren't keeping an eye on the combs they build.
I got another swarm call from a beekeeper in Ballard that had his hive swarm for the third time this year. This was a good sized swarm and I really don't know how a hive can pull off three swarms from a spring package and still be full of bees, but sure enough the hive still had plenty of bees working away. He was telling me how just a few days before he found a queen outside the hive and put her back in... I'm guessing this queen was kicked out by a stronger queen and it triggered another swarm when she left the second time (because obviously her sister was going to kick her butt again). The girls seem pretty calm, but I didn't see a queen and will look for her this weekend. She likely is a virgin queen which will make her harder to spot.
Hive Check (7/22/2012)
Saw the queen and a fair amount of brood. They have honey stored, just not sure how much yet. Seeing signs of varroa and DWV. Three frames donated to the Queen Castles. Will powder sugar them next weekend.
Not much has changed in the last week as far as comb building but am seeing the first capped worker cells. The pattern is spotty which seems to be in line with the random egg here and there I was seeing last week. Apparently the girls aren't all that impressed either and I found two supersedure cells (one capped) on a back frame.
Nuc with Engineer queen
They are back in build up mode. Gave them syrup.
Not building up as fast as Nuc 2. They aren't taking much syrup either. They were moved to the queen castle to make room for the swarm. The extra sun the queen castles get might do them good.
Building up quickly. No inspection. Added syrup.
No inspection. Added syrup.
The hive is looking really good at the moment. The laying pattern is still so-so but better than I've ever seen it in the past and the hive is full of healthy looking bees. Donated a frame to the Queen Castles.
They all got syrup and 4 of the 6 got an extra frame of bees.