Hosting the Des Moines Backyard Beekeepers – May 2019

On May 23rd, we hosted the Des Moines Backyard Beekeepers at our house to do splitting demonstrations. It was, unfortunately, a cloudy day, but we went into the hives because we had already rescheduled the meeting once. We split Olivia hives by removing the queen and we split Mom’s hive by using the walk away method.

We had quite a large amount of beekeepers at our house.

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Mom and Bethany started inspecting Olivia’s hive while Abigail checked her hive.

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Abigail was surprised by the small number of bees in her hive. The population should have grown after it recovered from the chilled brood.

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Here Abigail is showing two beekeepers the sick looking brood in her hive.

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Abigail was certain that her bees were sick. She suspected European Foulbrood the be culprit of the population decline.

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Abigail looked into the bottom box because she wanted to make sure that there were signs of disease in that box.

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Olivia’s hive was doing great! The queen had an absolutely beautiful laying pattern.

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Mom found the queen then put the frame she was on in the nuc. The bees in the hive would then make a new queen.

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Here is everyone trying to spot the queen.

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We did not have very much drawn comb so we put an empty frame in with the queen split. The bees would build out the frames in the coming months.

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Mom put two frames of brood and a good resource frame in the queen split.

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We put the queen nuc by the garage so that the bees would re-orientate to their new home.

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Here is Abigail starting to open Maylyn. Maylyn is a three year old hive. Maylyn already had a super on it in May!

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We demonstrated how to do a walk away split with Maylyn.

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We made sure that there was brood in both deep boxes. The top box has beautiful frames of brood.

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The bottom box also had brood in it.

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We moved the top box (with the queen in it) to by the garage so that the bees would re-orientate to their new location.

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We transferred some of the frames in a nuc because the box was too heavy for us to carry.

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Here Bethany is putting the frames in the nuc back in the deep.

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Abigail put the super back on the deep at the back of the yard. We let the bees have three weeks to raise a new queen.

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Here is Abigail closing up Maylyn.

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We now had one strong two deep hive. We wanted to let the bees build up before giving them a super.

We had a two deep, queenless hive. We gave them three weeks to raise a queen.

We had a sick two deep plus a super hive. We called the state apiarist and asked him to come out and look at it.

We had a one deep plus a super queenless hive. We gave them three weeks to raise a queen. We left the super on so that they would not fill the bottom box with honey.

We had a one deep hive. We watched them carefully and gave them more room when they needed it.

And we had a nuc that we also watched carefully and added more room when they needed it.

Abigail

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