So I went to pull honey today from one of the yards. I am a bit late but with over 9" of rain in the last three weeks, it's been hard to get out there.
I had to destroy one hive. I tore it down because there were few bees, drone brood , odd eggs and they were a slight bit pyschotic. I am assuming a laying worker. I might have requeened it but we are 30 days away from the start of feeding and getting ready for winter. Not enough time to build a decent hive for our winters. The have now found homes in some of the weaker hives that i had.
I was hoping to pull more boxes than i did but there were many boxes where they had not capped enough of the honey. I add boxes as fast as i could because the flow was fast and furious. They filled but did not cap.
They also decided that the first honey box would make a good brood chamber. Many of them had several frames in the honey box. This year was a bit crazy. They seemed to fill the brood boxes with honey even though they had a honey super. Some hives had queen excluders some did not. It was kind of an experiment. The ones that had the excluders,a few frames of empty drawn brood comb and some of the comb was not built out with honey on the edge of the frame. So the queen could move freely up and I did not want that. But once they built up the barrier in the second brood chamber I removed the excluder. Some hives she went up after i remove it and some she did not.
The hives that did not have the excluder had built the barrier already. She moved up any how in many of the first honey boxes. Ugg. What a lot of work separating the frames and looking for brood.
I went through a few of the brood chambers if I thought they needed to be checked. My plan was to go through all the brood chambers and give the queen more room if she needed so she could build up the #'s before fall. Obviously she found a way around that.
I thought they bees were suppose to move the honey upwards if the queen needed space. Obviously the bees did not get that memo
50 hives, half of them weak, 35 boxes of honey. but many of the hives still have 4 and five boxes on them to get capped. 8 of those 50 I did not remove anything because they were weak at the end of June and I want them to build and get strong. They had only one honey super anyhow.
opinions on what i should have done?