I have two strong hives... I inspected them yesterday. The brood chamber had 3 frames of capped brood and several frames of eggs/larva. What is the most ya'all have seen of capped brood/eggs larva.... just trying to get a guage for what consitutes a good hive/ above average/ boomin' hive [img]smile.gif[/img] Thanks for your guidance.
At this time of the year, it is sometimes hard to gauge a hives strength/performance solely on frames of brood. Build-up, honey production, what you started with, and just plain old experience will determine what one hive being strong means in relationship to another.
Factors include the constriction of the brood chamber as some bees will pack honey in the brood chamber as the summer progresses. This may happen regardless of the amount of supers placed on top.
The slowing or the stop altogether of the honey flow will also slow down, and sometimes stop brood rearing. This year its been dry up till this past week. A big slowdown or stoppage usually occurrs in August, but it seems we have had august weather in June and July.
Although your hives probably did not experience it, a swarm or supercedure in the past 4-8 weeks also will effect whats happening now in your hive. I see many hives just now recovering from swarm season and queen replacement. Honey packed in the brood chamber while no eggs were present also happens. Opening up the brood chamber is sometimes needed. Honey and pollen bound keeps the brood chamber from being larger.
A strong hive can have as many as 3 or 4 full boxes of brood. Having drawn comb, managing properly coming out of winter, and unlimited brood chambers all have an impact.
The two main things as a beekeeper determining hive strength at this time of the year is probably swarm prevention of the past two months, and your individual management strategy. You can have super queens, but sometimes mother nature and other forces impact the amount of bees and "strength" level.
I wish you would just change te letter "B" in your name, to the letter "L". Then I can just call you Dr. Jeckel. Everytime I see those call letters, thats what I think...
LOL, thanks Mike!
I have 4 hives; two are doing well... one of the two has a lot of bees on the front- I checked this weekend, and one has drawn out 4 frames on the honey super- the other has drawn maybe one to one and a half. I opened the brood chamber on the one with only one and a half drawn and there were A LOT OF bees, it was kind of intimidating, actually.... there were about 3 frames of capped brood and lots of honey in the brood chamber. probably 2 frames in the box. This hive has hardly any bees on the front at night or during the day.... I am going to check the other one this weekend.