“How high can you stack…honey?”
Famine and War continue to develop well!
Famine got its first honey super:
Famine has been much slower to develop than War, but the third deep brood box has at least some drawn-out comb on all frames, so it’s time.
War, on the other hand, just got its third super!
I’ve gotten some drawout on half the frames on the second super, and there’s a rule of thumb that a lot of beekeepers use: when you add a super, add two. It never hurts, and it’s heartbreaking to have your hive swarm in the middle of honey production because of lack of space into which to expand.
(We had to buy pre-built supers with plastic frames this time. Jim over at Nature’s Nectar didn’t have anything else, and may not have anything at all for awhile.)
We’re heading for the downhill slide on honey and pollen supplies in the Great Frozen North Minnesota. There is a fair amount of purple loosestrife (an invasive) in our area that is beginning to bloom, and that will be one of the last big supplies for the year. We’ll likely harvest our honey after that growth is playing out.
When we harvest the supers, we test for varroa mite counts in both hives. If the results look the least bit iffy, we are prepared to treat with Apiguard, which is oil of thyme imbedded in a volatile gel. The bees get into the dish of Apiguard and proceed to move the gel out of the hive through the bottom entrance, but track the gel through the hive as they do so. That will keep the mite population under control. You have to harvest your honey first, though; otherwise, the honey will develop an unpleasant odor.