Friday, April 22, 2011

Splitting Hive Experiment

It was supposed to be 78 and partly cloudy.  Instead, it was 67 and was drizzling off and on.  Now it was supposed to get up to 74 but the next few days would be colder SO I just went ahead and went for it!  I removed the top cover, nice calm bees - I removed the inside lid - still calm.

So, I removed the sugar water feeder and the  medium honey super I had added a few weeks ago.  I wasn't real impressed with the progress they had made.  The next hive body was pretty tough.  It felt like it would bend my hive tools.  I used two and kept working all the way around.  Then it cracked (at the seam like it was supposed to) and the girls came boiling out.  These girls were not calm and now neither was I.  Quite an onslaught!  I had a few hundred covering me and 30 or so ping my veil.  I would've NEVER stood my ground with either of my old veils.  I just about threw in the towel and then changed my mind and went for it - back into the breach.  No smoke!  Terrible weather - the worst possible combination.  I pull a middle brood frame - saw mostly honey.  Am I honey bound?  I pulled the next frame - YES!  Four queen cells!

I moved these two frames into a medium 10 frame Langstrom (Sicily) and covered it up.  There was some drawn comb in there from when I had a package in there earlier this month.  I hope this will establish a new colony and keep Milano from swarming.

I checked on Venice - it was doing great and I really should've added another hive body while I was there.  They hadn't touched the bee patty I placed in the top cover.  I will move that when I feed and add another hove body tomorrow.

I broke a personal record for stings - 8, I think.  Very minor.  They got me through the denim and so were not able to embed the stingers or inject much venom.  These almost all happened when I crouched down and drew then denim tight against my thighs.  It felt like I bumped into blackberries - pretty minor stings.  I almost wasn't sure I had even gotten stung until I looked and counted the red whelps.  It is the bare skin stings when they are able to embed the stinger and inject a lot of venom that really get to you.  These were nothing - really.  LOVE the new bee jacket with zip on hood.  I had about a half dozen of them desperately crawling around the junction of the three zippers looking for a way in.  How do they know this stuff!!

Can't wait to see if Sicily II takes off.