Last Tuesday was a good bee day. Dr. Milbrath delivered two nucs of her Michigan bees, helped us hive them in Beatrix and Dorcas, and inspected Clarissa, whose original five frames, a mix of brood frames and food frames, and the four empty bars we had added have become nine combs full of brood. We at once added another four empty bars and today replaced the empty baggie of syrup with a fresh one. There is a population explosion due and much comb to be built.
The other bit of good news is that our experiment of chamfering the ends of the ridge on our top bars seems thus far to be successful. There was no attachment to the sides, not even on the beautiful rectangular sheet of comb that came to within a perfect bee space of each wall and floor. (Sorry not to have a picture.) Even Dr. Milbrath was impressed. We shall not yet declare victory but preliminary results are most encouraging.
We finished the day packing a chicken-raspberry-chèvre salad and dining with our beekeeping niece (who was also getting a nuc) al fresco at Matthaei Botanical Gardens, followed by a meeting of the Ann Arbor Backyard Beekeepers. Before the meeting proper Dr. Milbrath demonstrated how to monitor varroa using a soon-to-be-available kit for performing a sugar roll. The main speaker for the night presented information on Russian bees and the breeders who raise them. Concluding the meeting was a quick review of varroa treatment options. Then homewards, happy in again having all hives occupied.