Friday, April 29, 2011

PARTIAL HIVE REVERSAL

A few days ago we actually had some sunshine, therefore, were able to get outside and do the partial reversal on the hive. For anyone that doesn't know what a hive reversal is, here is an image put together by Marla Spivak and Gary Reuter at the University of Minnesota to explain it:



The box in the very top position gets reversed with the box the middle section.

Things went well, better than expected. The bees were great! Not annoyed with us at all. They were humming calmly. A few checked us out but weren't that interested. This time I wasn't so freaked out about the exposed larvae we found when we separated the hives. Nor did I find it as difficult as the first time to scrape and toss them. We found quite a few moldy dead bees, mainly on the outer edges. The frames on both ends of the top and middle box were pretty moldy. Gary Reuter assured us in the course I took a couple weeks ago (part 2 of beekeeping) that the bees will take care of that mold themselves.

Here are some pix from the reversal.

Being silly with the smoker:


Pulling apart the hive. I did the prying with the hive tool while hubby did the lifting. Thank goodness for men because those hive bodies are HEAVY!!


Lots of comb built on top of the middle hive body that was sticking to the frames in the top hive body.


I had to scrape it all away. It was sad watching the bees huddle around the exposed larvae but, as I've been told, it has to be done.



All looks great.



It was very cool to finally see what aged honey comb looks like. It was so pretty and clean over the summer but you can see how much it has aged.

We closed things up, gave them some syrup, and then watched while the girls carried in bits of pollen. With all the rain and cold the girls won't be doing much but hopefully the sun and warmth comes around soon so they can get busy. Plus, it won't be long now and we'll have some new neighbors. The new hive arrives May 7th!