November 3, 2019
You may recall that we installed our Flow Hive beehive in a corner of our gardens in 2016, with our first harvest of delicious all-natural honey in the autumn of 2017. Then we added an additional frame to allow us to harvest comb honey, which we first harvested in spring/summer 2017-18. Unfortunately, our hive was attacked by the Varroa mite in 2018, along with many hives in the Oamaru area, so our harvest was significantly lower this past year. Furthermore, our queen died, so for a while we were uncertain how things would be for our hive over the past winter.
Yesterday we inspected the hive to remove our Varroa treatment strips and replace the honey-making frames on top of the hive. We were very excited to see that not only is our hive thriving, but we even managed to see our new queen busily laying eggs in the frame even while we removed it for inspection!
Because the hive was so crowded with bees, there was a risk that a new queen would be created who would take half (or more) of our bees with her in a swarm to find a new home. But by adding additional space in the form of our honey frames and destroying the nascent queen cells that we found, we should be able to look forward to a solid honey-making season, especially if our recent spate of warm spring weather continues.