This week we were able to do inspections at 4 of 6 locations. For the most part, all the hives are doing well. There is great brood pattern, some honey stores going in. We didn't see any small hive beetle, mites, or any other evidence of disease. There are a couple of hives whose queens have disappeared. We were able to do frame transplants for two of them. A frame transplant is where we took a frame that had day-old eggs and placed it into the queen-less hive. That hive should be able to raise up a new queen of their own using the fresh eggs. We will go back in a couple of weeks to check. If that doesn't work, then we will either be putting in new queens or replacing the hive with a nucleus hive.
Today we installed hives at the properties of 4 customers as well as at our own property. We brought in the packages that we had picked up from a supplier in Holland, Michigan as well as all of the hive bodies that Mike has been busy building in the basement all winter. In addition, we came prepared with a gallon of sugar water for each hive as a way of providing the new hives with some sustenance while they set up shop. So while it looks in the pictures like we have full hives going, the top two supers are just a place to store the feeders for the time being.
As part of Just-Bee-Cause, Mike had gone to each of the properties prior to today in order to meet with the customer, determine where the best place to put the bees was, and set out some of the materials (e.g. cinder-blocks to keep the hives off the ground, and even some hive bodies). When we returned today, we were able to complete the hives as well as get everything installed.
As well as having hives in Westchester, IL, there are now hives in Inverness, Willow Springs, Bensenville and in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago. We will be planning to visit each of the hives regularly to monitor their health and production.
The pictures below are from several different properties and show not only our typical set up, but how we install the bees as well! Feel free to ask questions in the comments, we'll be happy to get back to you.
Just Bee Cause
Mike is the bee-keeper, Joanne is the photographer / record keeper, and Dale is our trusty mascot!