The 2016 honey surplus is bottled. I have a small possibility that a bit more will be available as the weather is still good for flowering plants. So far this summer, better than average rain with not too hot days. Some hives still have four supers and several have five. These were the results of my putting the extracted supers back on with the intention of pulling them off in a few days. I always have plans that don’t work out, this being no exception and didn’t get back for over a week. There were a good number of frames that were filling up so I decided to move the best frames to the strongest hives and let them have at it. I typically treat for mites mid July to early August so I can’t give them much more time.
Several weeks ago, a few nucs and hives had no sign of larval and (as is usual for me) I couldn’t find the queen. In a situation like this, I never know the correct path to saving the hive. If I just didn’t find the queen, adding a new queen is a costly mistake. If I wait too long to confirm there is no queen, the hive continues to decline reaching the point of no return as there is not enough bee power to do the hive’s work.
I made the leap to the failed queen decision and re-queened with marked ones. I pulled the cages out last night but didn’t disturb any more than I needed to. All the cages were empty so at least they didn’t kill her and leave the evidence in the cage.
So the next step is to reduce down to three supers removing any excess capped honey, finish extraction if there is anything to extract then treat for mites. After that I’m planning to feed so the winter bees have a chance to build up before first frost ends the season.