On Saturday after installing 3 packages of bees, I attended the annual banquet for my bee club. Between food and drinks, the band and even a bagpipe performance by a member, there was of course much talk about bees. I spoke with a very experienced beekeeper there about my hive, it’s wacky comb building and amount of brood. He advised me to split the hive, add a honey super and slowly change out the plastic foundation with wired wax foundation that the bees will draw better. I have been thinking about changing to wax for a while now with this hive and agree these girls probably would do better on wax foundation. For some reason these bees just don’t like the pierco plastic. He advised changing out the two frames they won’t draw well at the same time I add the honey super. The fruit bloom is on in the area now, the temperatures are way above normal (in the 80-90’s) and the bees will be swarming as early as today which is much earlier than normal for the area.
So this morning I added the first honey super of the year to the hive – very exciting! I can’t wait for the honey and hope I get to keep some this year. The super had wired wax foundation that the girls need to build comb on before storing honey. I didn’t add a queen excluder and will hold off until the bees begin making wax. I’m interested to see if they take to the wax foundation better than the plastic or if the old adage don’t mix foundation types hold true for this hive. I didn’t replace the two frames yet because one had some brood on it. I’m also hoping to hold off on splitting the hive for a week or two. My bees only have a few drones that are capped and I want to make sure there are enough out there for a new queen to have an excellent mating. I hope they don’t get too crowded in there. I’ll have to be on the lookout for queen cells over the next few weeks. Swarm season is underway.