Update On The Deer Hollow Farm Hives

It has been a while since I’ve provided an update on the two hives installed at Deer Hollow Farm. The last time we were there inspecting, the first hive we brought over has a new queen and brood though population was low. The second hive, swarmed like 5 times and left only a handful of bees and one last capped queen cell. So August 9 we brought a third hive to Deer Hollow Farm just incase one of the other hives didn’t make it. Here’s what we found this time. Upon arrival the hive that was booming that swarmed and left a small number of bees, had broken wax pieces at the entrance of the hive and no bee activity. Bad sign!

We opened up the hive and found something interesting inside. Aside from ants we found some debris that was brought in, and I’m betting it was a mouse that made this weak or vacant hive its home. It looks like my next visit we’ll have to mice proof the hives there.

The first hive, pictured below, didn’t have much activity but it was only like 9 AM in the morning. The location gives the hives a short period of morning sun. Then after that the sun is out of sight due to the trees and hills. Foraging hours are very limited in this location and nights are about 10 degrees cooler than just a mile away. We did crack the top of the hive and did find bees in the top box. Quickly closed it up after that and we’ll leave the bees alone until Spring.

Original hive on the left and new hive from the soffit cutout on the right in two mediums.

It is pretty dry at Deer Hollow Farm. The bees will have to travel a few miles to forage. The hills are all golden now but the Canadian Thistles are starting to bloom which will hopefully last and provide the bees some forage nearby.

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