Yesterday morning, the heat wave broke for a couple of days.  Evening thunderstorms provided more moisture for pollen and nectar production, while morning temperatures were in the low to mid-70’s.  A good time for colony inspections.

A special screened bottom board for Varroa mite control and a screened inner cover, providing more ventilation arrived, so I decided to install both on Colony C, while checking their progress.  Six full frames of drawn comb and heavy egg laying by the queen from this package of bees.  So, after installing the new hive parts, I replaced four wood/wax frames with plastic frame/foundation, which the bees had not started to build upon.  They are accepting the plastic comb very well.  At the same time, I added a second deep brood chamber…hive body…with all ten frames being plastic frame/foundation.  I also installed a Small Hive Beetle trap.  I’ll continue to supplemental feed with 1:1 sugar syrup, too.  I still have about eight more days to wait before the first new young bees begin to emerge, but the hive is ready for a big population boom when that time arrives!

I also checked on Colony B.  They are the bees started with the five frame nuc and bees I rescued from the wall of an old house.  They are very strong, building well in the second brood chamber and getting heavy with brood, pollen and honey.  The colony is doing so well, if this weather continues with heat and almost daily thunderstorm activity, I might actually get a bit of honey for our use this year!  That would be an unexpected and pleasant surprise!  I also checked the “sticky board” I had put below the screened bottom board.   It’s part of my Varroa mite trapping system and allows me to do a mite count.  Anything less than 100 trapped Varroa mites on the sticky board, after 48 hours would be an acceptable level of infestation.  After 96 hours in place, I counted about 20 Varroa mites….much better than I anticipated.