We added a handy new tool to our beekeeping practices: canvas inspection cloths. These are multi-layered cloths that go over the top of hive boxes during inspection, to keep the bees in the dark, which keeps them more calm. They seem to help quite a bit:
Here’s a frame from the yellow hive with the marked queen; one of our new queens. See the green dot? That makes it much easier to spot her:
A GIF of the queen (as previously posted):
A frame of honey from the yellow hive:
A partial frame of honey from the purple hive:
A purple hive frame with brood and the (unmarked) queen; can you spot her?
Here’s a closer look; I’ve circled the queen:
We switched to an alcohol wash mite test instead of the sugar shake. This is a bit easier:
A mostly full frame of honey from the Flow hive:
We noticed a bee dragging off another one; they do that to clear out dead ones, but this one wasn’t quite dead yet. It was feeling much better:
The new hot pink hive has a top sugar syrup feeder (visible on the left), and the bees took advantage of the space in the middle of that to build extra comb; that isn’t approved, but we left it for now:
A problematic frame from the orange hive, where they had previously built cross-comb. They are slowly repairing it, but are still very cranky with us, so we just removed the mite treatment patty and otherwise left them alone:
You may recall that we have two nucs with the old queens that we replaced. When we checked them, one was evacuated; empty frames and no bees. So we moved some drawn-out frames to the other one, to replace non-drawn-out ones, and removed the empty nuc:
Sometime we’ll move the remaining nuc to the hoop house, so the waxed cardboard has more chance of surviving the winter. The hive probably won’t survive, being so small, but no big loss; it was only kept just in case the new queens didn’t “take”. If it does survive, we’ll move it into a new hive box next year.