First year - First hive...enough to harvest?
I went out and checked on my first Warre hive yesterday. I started them late April with a package and checking them yesterday I found 2 fully drawn boxes and a half drawn box. The top box is quite heavy and is mostly honey judging from weight. I smoked the bottom of comb a bit and found some capped brood but I can't imagine there are two many in there. The second box down was lighter with more brood as far as I could tell (tried not to disturb them much.) The half drawn 3rd box looked to have 4 fully drawn comb or so which I didn't inspect and just left it where it sat. Considering we had about a 5 week drought in Michigan this summer I am happy with how well they seem to be doing.
Overall the bees seemed very healthy, active, and are still foraging aggressively. Each comb is completely covered with bees from top to bottom in all boxes. They are situated next to a field of golden rod which has just started to bloom so I am assuming I have 4+ weeks of nectar available provided the weather stays warm. Presently my plans are to check the hive again when the golden rod stops blooming and harvest the top box (provided it does not contain brood) and leave the 2nd and 3rd boxes (assuming the bees have finished drawing the 3rd box out.) So I have two questions?
1: Is it reasonable to expect the bees to finish the third box so I can take the 1st and leave them with 2 fully drawn boxes?
2: How confident should I be in them having enough stores for the winter if the top box contains only honey at harvest time when they would just be finishing what would be their second of two wintering boxes?
Last edited by Ambassador; 08-26-2012 at 04:55 PM.