Hive inspection

Swarm Check and Sugar Shake – Purdue Hive

It’s the 2nd day of spring (March 21) and I’m checking some of my hives for swarm cells. The temperature is 78 degrees at noon, so there’s lots of bee activity in the bee yard.

The Purdue hive is my biggest hive so far. It is 8 frame equipment with 1 deep, 2 mediums, and 1 shallow. There is about 50 pounds of honey on this hive and it’s packed full of bees. So they will swarm, it’s just a question of how soon.

The queen from this hive is one of the queens from the Heartland Honey Bee Breeders Cooperative. Breeders from this group took hygienic virgin queens to Purdue to be artificially inseminated with sperm from some of the leg biter (chewing bees) that Purdue is working on breeding.

I know there are queen cups in the swarm position in this hive. Today I’m checking to see if there are eggs or larva in any of them. One way to quickly check is to lift the box and look at it from the bottom (which I am doing here). I also did a sugar shake to see how the varroa count is so far on this hive. I found 4 varroa/300 bees so below the threshold to treat.

It’s windy, so not always easy to hear what I’m saying and I haven’t gotten great at aiming the phone camera at what I want to view, so sorry about that.

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