Introducing the lemon yellow hive! No, its the same colony of my girls, but they now have a delicious, lemon yellow exterior to their home. I was tired of looking at the plain white hive, so I decided to change it up a little. So I painted my second stand-by hive a bright, lemon yellow. And I have to admit that I really do like it.
Well, I have to be honest and say that my reasoning was two-fold. One, I just wanted to make the hive boxes more colorful. But two, I wanted the bees to be able to recognize their own hive when I have two of them sitting side by side. I already have one that's bright yellow, and now I'm painting their old hive -- get this -- electric lime! Oh yeah, a bright lime green color. So now I can refer to my hives as lemon and lime. And when I have a new stand-by swarm hive, I plan to paint it orange. How I came about with all these citrus colors, I don't know, but they're the ones I liked best when I went to the paint department at Walmart.
While I was moving the frames into the yellow hive, I did a full inspection. The sun was bright and it was 76 degrees..the perfect day for doing it. While I did not find the queen, she is definitely there. I found an abundance of tiny, newly laid eggs with just about every cell filled. I also found larvae and pupae throughout the frames, so her highness is in residence and already laying. I also found drone cells through several frames too -- and thankfully, no swarm cells anywhere. Since this colony is already active, and it is full of bees -- that's been my biggest fear, that they're going to get the urge to swarm. But so far, so good. I plan to get a new queen so I can split this hive soon. While I could chance it and let them raise their own queen when I do the split, I'm not too hip on that idea. I'd rather buy a queen from a reputable dealer like Busy Bee Apiaries in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and know that chances are, she'll be as good as the one I have now.
While I didn't see any hive beetles, varroa or wing issues, and this is still one booming colony even though we had a rough winter -- I did see some spotting on the front of the white hive that could be a possible indicator or Nosema. If its there, its slight, but I plan to make the trip to Dadant and pick up some Nozevit (all-natural) and give them a spring treatment. While I'm at the warehouse, I plan to pick another hive set-up just in case I get lucky and catch a swarm sometime this year.
Overall, I'm very pleased with my honey bees and how they've fared. Very pleased! I can't wait to split them soon and have my second colony in the electric lime hive. And as you can see in the picture above, my old hive is still in great shape, but I have a lot of propolis to scrape before I give it a fresh coat of paint. It gives me an excuse to get out and enjoy this wonderful spring weather!
Happy SPRING everyone (now that its official by the calendar)...