2011-04-03 Northcote bee check

Late last night, the Other Hive arrived in Northcote, now sitting next to Metropolis in the Vegie patch.
Today was barely warm enough to warrant opening em up, but my curiosity got the better of me.
Just got up to 18 C.......in the sun.

 Metropolis and Other
 Inside Other, only the middle 2 older frames had barely any nectar at all, the 4 outside frames were only slightly drawn.
 One of the middle frames from the top.
 A light glisten of nectar near the middle.

 This one has an old plastic Queen excluder, from the 80's.
These bees are blacker that the Italians in  Metropolis. Bush bees?
They came from a swarm from John the wrangler, so are probably some sort of mix.

++++++++++++++ ooooooooooooo ++++++++++++++
At about this time, I felt a bee crawling up the inside of my leg.
I calmly put everything down, got away from there, carefully pulled off my pants, couldn't find anything.
Pants back on, back to the bees, same feeling of a bee on my skin inside my pants.
Stripped again eventually found a bee in there, hiding in a seam.
 I got the bee out successfully, but got a small sting on my hand from another bee in the process. ouch.
Jonas : 1
Adrian : 0
Edis : 1
++++++++++++++ ooooooooooooo ++++++++++++++

 Patchy brood in  most of the frames below.
Almost no nectar, and no capped honey at all.
Seemed to be less bees than when we were in there in January.

These bees are starving, and it's not even winter yet. Seems to me that Buxton was not very kind to these girls, the Peppermints that flowered did not help them out with nectar, and the Manna gums were not flowering.  Also,  the bush around there is pretty much all trees, apart from Adrians truffle patch and the grapes down in the valley. Not much for a bee to eat, it seems.

 Some grubs visible.....
I didn't see the queen, and I didn't really look for eggs,
I didn't want to hassle the brood for too long on a cool day.
 I put in a feeder full of sugar syrup (2 litres water 2 kilos sugar) to fatten them up.
I'd much prefer not to do this, but these bees are in trouble.
I also replaced the undrawn combs with the drawn ones I had taken out of Metropolis last week, when it brought it down from 3 boxes.
 The girls having a free feed, my shout.

 I quickly opened up Metropolis as well.
I didn't take the lid off, just lifted off the whole top box.
Under the queen excluder, the cage was empty.
Her Majesty was either killed by the uppity "Laying Worker" bees, or hopefully had survived and was happily starting to lay eggs in there.

Go Girl!

I guess I find out next weekend whether Metropolis is a write-off or not.
If there is brood, all might be OK.
If there is no brood, they are doomed.

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