2012 10 20 Taggerty girls made it through winter

Got up to Adrians on the weekend, for a couple of hours only, enough time to have a quick squiz around his new grape plantation, check out his new shed, and do a bee-check up in nearby Taggerty, where there are still 2 hives. the Buxton Hillbillies ( http://bzzzzzzzzzz.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/2011-12-29-and-30-buxton-hilbillies.html) had died out over winter, they were always a risky proposition, after the way we found them...which left the Utter hive (double box), and Kates (single box, a swarm off Metropolis from last year ).

Another beautiful day at the foot of the Cathedral range. You look down to the valley, everything you see in front is their foraging ground, but nothing much flowering this time of year.

We checked the single box hive first, in case we found honey in the double box one. No such luck...
By the front door, a thick pile of bee corpses.

I'm guessing this is just natural attrition over winter, they die, get taken outside and dropped. In this case they are on the ground, so the bodies dont go far away from where they were dumped.

Some damage to the boxes too, where they sit on the ground. This is one of the Utter boxes, a remnant from Adrians parents beekeeping efforts in the 70's.
You can see where the EmLock was, by the crease.
Big gap. Next time we need to bring a spare box to replace this.

Inside, all good. Not massively filled up, but they seemed to be doing OK. Grubs. Eggs.

And a bunch of cockroaches. We found a couple in this and quite a few in the other box.
And some mould. Not a problem apparently. Does not look great, though.

Love that hex geometry, especially where it goes askew.

 Another roach.

This is looking up at the sun through the frame below, you can see the shadow of the extent of honey on the other side.

Same frame as above.

Roaches, earwigs. We squished probably 20, every one we saw.

This is the old Utter box that is rotted

Something here for everyone.
- empty cells
- capped honey
- uncapped nectar
- grubs
- pollen
- capped brood


Holy crap, swarm cells ahoy.

These hives being where they are, we dont check them very often, so we can be pretty sure they are gonna swarm sometime soon. Not much we can do about it. They have plenty of space in these boxes, so no  overcrowding.  I just hope the next queen is stronger than this one.

The filing clerk, stacking away the pollen.

Here's a grub close to being capped off, this happens to worker grubs at about day 9, they stay in there and pupate until about day 21, when they emerge, clean out their cell, and get to work.

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