Some Hive Adjustments
P. Michael Henderson
After watching the hives for a bit, it looked to me as if the two hives that are not shaded are getting pretty warm in the sun - so I decided to put the bee quilts back on, without the shavings in them. What I'm trying to do is offer a secure top vent - secure because the openings are covered with window screen so robbing bees cannot get in that way.
The openings are not that large but my hope is that the heat can rise in the hive and some of it can be vented through the bee quilt. It may also allow the moisture from the evaporation of nectar to escape. I'll give it a try.
While I was in the hives, I added another super to my Loma hive, as well as the bee quilt. They haven't filled the first super yet but they're making honey pretty fast so I thought I'd give them more room.
I also put a bee quilt on the Rio Bravo hive, which I think is the most defensive hive of the three. It won't give them any more room to store honey so it shouldn't affect their swarming process. I'd like to see them swarm so that I get a new queen - in the hope she'll produce bees that are less defensive.
Here's a picture of the Loma hive with the two supers, and the Rio Bravo hive without any supers.
And here's a picture of my old hive. I didn't put a bee quilt on it because I have a shade for the hive. It's doing okay, but doesn't seem as active as my other two hives.
[Update 4/20/2018] My wife convinced me to give the Rio Bravo hive another chance. So I put an excluder and a super on it today. The two brood boxes were quite full so I expect the bees to move into the super fairly quickly. I'll check them in a week and see what they're doing in the super.