Thursday, May 24, 2012

Honey Super Cell vs Foundation - A Cursory Check

It was time to check the feed buckets in the beehives, so Joseph did a cursory check of the bees' progress in both hives.  Here is how they are stacking up against each other....

The Honey Super Cell Hive completely drained their bucket of sugar water (our kids call it "bee stew" since I mix it in my big stew pot).  We have since given them a fresh bucketful. 
The plastic foundation hive has about a third of their food left.  They did get theirs several days after the HSC hive, so this is not unusual.

The lower deep supers in both hives are filling up, but the HSC hive has a significantly larger population than the foundation hive.  Check out all of these bees buzzing around while Joseph checks the HSC hive.
These two images show the activity on the top of the frames in the lower deep supers of each hive.  The hive with white frames is the Honey Super Cell hive and the population in that deep is nearly double that of the foundation hive with the wooden frames.  You can see a larger cluster of bees working on burr comb in the HSC hive.  The darker wooden frames in each hive are the original nuc frames.

In the second deep super of each hive is where you can really see a difference.  The white HSC frames are quickly filling with bees while the foundation frames are just getting started, with few bees working in the upper deep.  You can clearly see the difference in the population of bees on top of the frames in the upper deeps.

Drawing Comb
The foundation hive is just getting started in that upper deep.  You can see here they are just getting comb drawn on one of the center frames (they work from the center frames out to the end frames).  See how the bottom center of the foundation is raised to the edge of the frame while the "hill" of comb gradually slopes down leaving the rest of the foundation recessed in the frame.

We'll take a closer look at the frames of both hives in the next week or so.

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