Ok… you’ve probably read my post here about my troubles with my left arm. Couldn’t do inspections for about 5 months. So I needed to make some splits yesterday since it was the first day in about 3 weeks with no rain. I have 3 new queens to install so I selected my “Jack of Spades*” hive since it’s busting at the seams with bees judging by the bearding.
The only time this hive has been open was during my spring state inspection and it wasn’t fully broken down (2 deeps, 3 supers) since the top deep was in great shape sans the SHB which weren’t too many. So now 3 months post inspection and I attempt to go in to select frames for the splits.
I started to work the hive with no veil or jacket. Everything seems quiet on the “western front” as I removed the supers. The top deep was another story. I couldn’t even pry the top deep no matter where on the box I tried to pry. Totally sealed up with propolis So after 30 minutes of frustration (and 10 lbs of sweat) I need an X-Acto knife. Ok now I was on to somthing, the blade went right through the propolis and I was making progress. As I started to pry and separate the top deep from the bottom, the frames from the bottom deep were propolised to the top deep frames. ARGH!! The bees are now not happy at all. 10 stings later, I ran for my jacket!
They didn’t let up. Even with my jacket on, I had them hanging all over me. Smoke wasn’t helping. Well I started inspecting the frames for the ones that I wanted to make the nucs out of. Bees were now even more angry. Then they find my pants leg at my ankle and started making their way North in my pants. I won’t say how North but I think you can get the picture. I was determined to finish the job at task even though I was now suffering from stings on my legs… I lost track after 20. My name must be Job because I took every sting.
I managed to complete the task, creating 3 nucs for my new Queens but the Queens haven’t been installed in the Nucs yet, I had enough for one day.
I’m going to monitor “Jack of Spades” to see if something else is going on because that colony was never like that. The brood pattern on the removed frames where a nice oval patter so it doesn’t look like the Queen is the problem thus far. I did manage to see eggs (no double or triple eggs seen) and larvae . Alittle drone brood in the lower super but nothing alarming.
Still going to physical therapy (past 6 months)for my arm, maybe I should treat it like an arthritis patient and put a few stings to it!
* My colonies have a playing card on them to identify them. I think it help bees orient (visual) when you split and make a Nuc.