08 December 2013

a hive and comb transfer

Yesterday Kwao and I quickly switched out a nucleus hive into a four-foot hive late afternoon. The colony was getting crowded in the nuc hive and needed more space, or they will swarm too early. After heavily smearing a handfull of freshly cut lemongrass all over the inside of the hive, we switched the colony out by pulling out two top bars at a time, quickly going over the comb to ensure they had eggs and food. The rest of the bees lingering in the nuc were knocked out before the hive smothered with smoke to hide its scent.

One of the hive stands were installed poorly last year and the hive was tipping forward dangerously before the heavy rains loosened up the mud enough that it fell forward. A few days later, between the storms, Agape and I went through the hive with comb traps and found that only one comb needed to be reinforced after breaking off the top-bar. The comb traps were incredibly helpful being so simple and quick to use. You simply trim the comb to fit inside and weave the thread around the pre-hammered nails to secure it in place. Definitely a vital tool to have in a top-bar apiary!

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