Wow, the weather has been incredibly warm this week, and it seems that we put our super on at the right time – the girls have been busy this week! But more of that later.
Last week we put a monitoring board underneath our open mesh floor. The idea is to count the number of varroa that have fallen down, which gives you an idea of the level of infestation in the hive.
So we started our inspection by examining the monitoring board and estimating the number of mites. There are several mites on the board below – the dark brown, round shapes, e.g. just below and to the left of the finger.
Using the guide produced by FERA on varroa, we concluded that our mite drop was acceptable and that no action was needed at this time, but we will continue to monitor the situation throughout the season.
Today was our first open day, where we opened up our hive to visitors to come and have a look – and what a beautiful day it is!
Thanks to the exceptionally warm weather over the last week our girls have been incredibly busy. Last week we put in a whole new super box full of frames – well almost. The box takes 11 frames, but I had miscounted what I brought and only had 9 frames to put in.
As they have been pretty slow at drawing out foundation in the brood box over the last few weeks, we figured 9 would be enough to keep them going. Well they had drawn out the foundation in all 9 frames, and built some wild comb in the gap, which you can see hanging from the crown board! Not only that, they had made a good start at filling all the frames with nectar.
We found Gilla again this week – much easier now that she is marked. You can see her long abdomen in the picture below.
Given the progress they have made on their super, we decided to put another one on to make sure they don’t run out of space. So our hive is starting to get quite tall!