On Friday night we started going through the hives doing some basic maintenance and checking out the honey situation. We need to number the hives and keep a proper log book of everything we do. Originally with just two hives we thought we could remember all the details but with eight it is not so easy to keep track.
There is still a lot of activity and a ,lot of worker larvae still to hatch. Our worry is that the new bees won't find enough pollen and nectar now that the main flowering season is over and grasses predominate in the fields and in the forest. Not sure what they are feeding on at the moment.
(From left to right, hives #4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
We managed to get through three hives.
P. is planning to get a bee buddy over to give an expert opinion on the state of our hives and advice on the next steps.
The queen is in the centre of this photo. She has a white dot painted on her head. She is also recognisable by her longer body, brown abdomen and shorter wings.
This frame is full of honey and pretty much ready for harvesting. The honey is sealed into the comb with a covering of wax. Nice frame.
All these frames appear to be full of honey.
This frame, on the other hand, needs some maintenance!
There are two queen cups protruding from the right-hand edge so we removed them. These contain larvae for new queens (which we don't need).
Next to the upper queen cup there are a couple of drone larvae which we also removed. Some of the other frames had dozens of drone larvae which we had to pick out with a metal comb. These fat white bugs are given to our neighbours' hens who love 'em.
We're starting to wonder how beekeepers with hundreds of hives manage to cope. It's very labour intensive and heavy, physical work.