Let us all bow our heads in silent prayer as we fondly remember the Top Bar Hive. It was a good hive, filled with the expectant hope of new life and a bountiful harvest. Alas, it twas not to be. Let us not focus on how it died, but on how it lived. <end sermon>
Well, as you can surmise, the TBH is kaput. Deceased. Passed on. Gone to join the choir invisible. Pushin up the Daisies. It is an EX-TBH. Sorry, bad mimicry of Monty Python's dead parrot sketch. Anyway, I'm not 100% certain on the prelude to its demise, but something happened to weaken the hive and that allowed a bunch of wasps of various sorts to raid the hive, killing most of the defenders and the queen.
So, lets look on the bright siiiiide of life <whistle>:
- The bees were "free", since they were won at the Spring MBA conference.
- They added to the learning experience of the beekeepers
- I was able to purchase and apply a disease test kit for both American Foulbrood and European Foulbrood which both came up negative <whew!>
- Since the bees will no longer be needing their honey, it was liberated
|Opening the Foulbrood test kit|
|Removing a dead bee larvae|
|Test results. If a line shows under the "T" it is postitive|
Thankfully, this hive is still going bonkers. The bees have only barely started to draw out the wax on the second honey super I added, so at this point in the year I won't be expecting to harvest anything from this super. Anything the bees store here before Winter, they will keep.
The first honey super I placed on this hive has almost every frame 80-90% of glorious honey capped!! I was ecstatic to see this! I have heard that you don't often get a harvest during your first year but it appears I will at least get a little bit from this hive! Not really sure how much honey to expect from one super but I ordered two cases (12 each) of 9oz glass Hex Jars. I guess if I fill them all I can always use Mason jars or some other container.
|Lots of capped honey|
|Lots of sticky propolis|
I am still surprised at how hot it can get in a bee suit even when the temperature is "only" in the 70s. Since at this point in my inspection I had sweated off most of my body weight, I made this one quick. My friend Keith was also helping me and I'm sure he appreciated the expedited inspection. I pulled a few frames finding the first still empty of comb, but the next two were increasingly built up. Frame 9 had about 50% comb and Frame 8 had about 80% and Frame 7 had about 95%.......and the Queen! I've gotten fairly decent at spotting her finally! Can you see her in the photo?
Wow, I can't believe we are hitting September at the end of this week. Fall is quickly approaching, as is the close of my first year of beekeeping. What a ride!
As always, thanks for reading...