Splits on Excluders: New Hives for 2013
A few days ago, I took a bit of video in a bee yard where they finally had an opportunity to go out and get some pollen. We dodged a couple of days of rain before I took this footage, but then it proceeded to rain 3"-5" across the state for the next few days. This video from 4.14.2013 isn't extremely exciting--I was just in need of a brief break from weekend exam grading, so I went to see what was going on at a nearby bee location. The pollen gatherers really need to fly in order to keep the broodrearing well-stimulated. I am surprised how good most of the bees look considering the slow spring and abundance of moisture. The splits sitting on excluders as 3rd stories are now at an orchard a few miles away. They will have an embarrassment of riches on their hands if the weather is good a couple of weeks from now. I'll aim to get some images of their apple pollination activities this year. For the splits, we generally shake the bees off of three frames of older brood (to get the queen off quickly without spending time to really look), and then we put those brood frames above an excluder so the house bees can come up onto the frames. Then we can just pick them up, put them on a bottom, and haul them away. It's pretty convenient. Click here to see an older post where I show the transportation system. There is one 4-story colony in the video. It had so many bees and large quantities of brood that I split it twice, so there are two splits over the excluder instead of one. The singles and two-story hives in the video weren't strong enough to split yet.