Yes, they are still on artificial comb and I do like using it enough that I no longer use wax comb. If you decide to try it, I recommend running it through the dishwasher before you use it. I got some in black once that looked like they had some sort of residue on them. So, I wash them all first and I don't have any acceptance issues.Would you recommend the artificial comb? Are they still on the artificial comb?
The observation hive is doing well. It’s November 21, 2020 and they are still raising brood. It has been a crazy year though. They built up really well this spring and had about 5 deeps filled with surplus honey before they started the swarming process. Here’s a photo from early August. I had a couple of surgeries and was unable to split them when they were preparing to swarm so I got to see some really crazy stuff go down. The workers wanted to swarm, but the queen didn’t want to leave the hive and they couldn’t manage to get her out. So, when the virgins started emerging, the workers started killing them. After watching a number of virgins get killed and the queen still refusing to leave, I killed the queen by pressing on the polycarbonate sheeting. I was hoping that the workers would then let the virgins emerge and requeen the hive or swarm into a swarm trap I had set up. The workers however continued to ball and kill all of the virgins. Without checking my records, I think that went on for about 8 days before they finally stopped killing them. One of the virgins got mated and returned only to be killed by another virgin that emerged. Then the few remaining virgins battled it out until only one remained. Unfortunately, that one did not return from her mating flight and I ended up having to requeen the hive by placing a caged queen on the feeding screen for a number of days and then directly releasing her into the hive. That’s the short version. It really was crazy to watch it all unfold.Any updates? Those of us who are in bee winterland need updates
There is a vent hole on the side of each box and 3 along the top of each stack. If I remember correctly, they are each 1/2 inch. However, I usually keep all of them plugged except one on the bottom box on each end. They also have a screened porch and screened feeder area that allow air exchange. Most of the time I can't smell the hive. There is a fragrant smell during much of the spring honey flow. It has a stronger odor when my neighbors Bradford pears are in bloom. I don't mind it, but my wife says the Bradford pear odor stinks. It only lasts a couple of weeks though.