Most of the supers are on. The hives look strong and filling quickly. I’m hoping they don’t get to swarming. There are alot of young bees clustering around the outside of the hive entrances. Beekeepers call this bearding.
My grandmother called this “loafing” and thought it unaccepable, she would open every hive that had these clusters and search out the swarm cells to pre-empt this natural behaviour. With 1200 colonies that is not feasible for me, although I did look through a few dozen this morning and found a few cells.
I spent most of the day on last minute checks of my extracting equipment. Alot of beekeepers have been asking about my steam system so I’m posting this info here.
Last year when it was exceptionally dry my honey wasn’t extracting easily, with alot of honey left in the combs. At that time I purchased a steam generator intended for house-hold steam showers. The make was “relax-a-mist” model JR-1, 3000 watts of electric heating. I tubed the output of this small device into a hole in the extractor and it worked great. Moving the supers out this year, I could easily tell which boxes had been extracted after the steam had been installed, as they were lighter and cleaner.
Here’s some pics of the installation:
This is a side view: the stainless steel is the body of the extractor. and the black steel is a stand I made for the extractor.
This is the end of the extractor. The black hose feeds the steam directly into the tank of the extractor.
Please note I don’t endorse or have any relationship with this product. Please read the fairly simple instructions carefully. Please use only tested potable water!