Episode-244- How To Inspect The Top Bar Hives

The video in today’s episode is a month old already but I get to things eventually. I am taking a less invasive approach to beekeeping this year. There has been too much to prepare in the gardens that I have not had to the time or energy to over manage the hoeny bees which I think is a good thing. Over managing in the past has led to more problems than successes so I am not repeating past practices except for quick weekly feed replacements. Those do not interfere with the bees and they are a breeze compared to how I used to feed bees in Langstroth hives. Feeding bees in a top bar hive is not a chore. The window provides a view of what is going on and as long as they seem busy I am happy to leave them bee.

Colony D which was started in April of 2013 does not look well. In fact it seems that part fo the of the colony has already swarmed. i went into the hive to exact some swarm prevention management but I was either late or the hive is just struggling. I think it’s the former and I worked the hive to close up the colony to a smaller space. It appears that the honey bees in D have tried to supercedure or requeen themselves and the next few weeks will reveal if they were successful. They have everything they need to survive and there appear to be no pests.

Colony E was started in April of 2014 and so far the honey bees are working on 5 combs. It seems that they should be more active than the video depicts but again what can I do besides observe and interact with minimal concern. Could they or Colony D use a new queen? Maybe but I tried that last year with Colony C and it was more trouble than it was worth and a waste of time and money. Conlony D and E will make it or they won’t. We’ll see. One thing is for sure from the vide is that there will be no honey spread on my bread this year. At least not honey from my backyard.

So we are down to Colonies D and E. The loss of the the previous three colonies have tempered my urge to intervene at the slightest error in what the bees seem to be doing. The books, the blogs, the YouTube videos and the blathering bee forums haven’t been right in the past 4 years and I thin that’s where I went wrong. Trying to do what every other beekeeper was saying to do. I got a great palce for bees to thrive and I look after them to the point where they have a chance but beyond that Mother Nature, my neighbors and the bee themselves have to interact in order for them to thrive. Stay tuned.


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