We finally got our SBB and swapped it with the original wooden bottom board from May. The bees were still bearding a little the past few nights but overall I think they have been cooler since propping up the top, giving them a few hours of shade and now the screened board. I may add a slotted BB too.
When I pulled out the wooden board I noticed our first mites (drat!) so I plan to start treating with powdered sugar and monitoring.
We hadn't inspected the lower brood chamber in weeks- as you can see from the buildup of edge comb on some of the frames. What a bummer to scrape off extra chunks of comb with larvae, a good lesson to be more proactive.
I noticed 2 formations that looked like possible queen cells (at the top), one looks like it may have hatched?
(same pic larger)
Pics of all the frames from the lower brood chamber are here, I added them to our ongoing set:
I poked around the pics looking for the queen but there seem to be a lot of bees in there and I got dizzy after a while. Plus she could be in the 2nd brood chamber.
From our very novice perspective- I guess things look to be going ok. It's really dry here but we have a few acres of white clover and I've been carefully mowing and watering on a staggered basis to try to keep the bloom cycle happening. We're surrounded by very small farms and old meadows and woods. I hear there are sourwood trees around but I haven't seen any in our immediate area.
We added the small super a few weeks back, they're still working on drawing that comb. It seems to me they've been much more occupied with brood rearing than honey collecting, but that's a novice perspective and I haven't looked at the 2nd brood chamber since the first pics we took.
There's no queen excluder in the mix, we don't plan to take any honey- at least not very much if we do next year. We originally intended to attempt this as organically as possible- but then we got our nuc before I had a chance to look into smaller cells/ starter strips- so we just used what we could get locally, the usual set up. We'll try the next hive that way.
We're filmmakers by trade so I'm looking forward to eventually doing some sort of video project involving bees.
But for now it'll just be stills. I'm pretty sure she's looking at me...