I opened up all 8 of my hives. They are doing great.
The packages have all been installed about a month. They are packed with bees. In all cases they had 5 or more frames dense with bees and 7 or 8 full drawn frames. The nectar is flowing well here and none of the bees have been emptying the top feeders very fast, so I am satisfied that they are happy.
I pulled a couple of center frames on the packages and I saw eggs and brood. I put a second deep on all the package hives, except one. I don’t have enough deep boxes so I am making a temporary one out of plywood. I was tired last night and measured something wrong, so the first try did not fit the frames. For some reason I have about 15 unused deep frames and 20 unused mediums. I also have a bunch of deep wood frames that the mice got into and I need to replace the foundation. I have a pile of disassembled frames and some foundation, but the foundation was exposed to the heat. I may order some plastic foundation for the frames that need it.
I opened two hives that wintered and the split. I opened just the top and checked some frames. The top boxes each had 7 or 8 frames full of honey. I put a queen excluder on two of them and a medium super. I’ll have honey by Memorial day. The other hive had a medium super that I left on all winter. It was chock full of honey. I put another medium super on top of that.
I will pull the honey supers off on Memorial Day and spin the Honey. That should be about 100 pounds if things go well. I will check the new packages then and see if they need supers.
I will make the plywood deep this week and put it on the last hive. If it works I will make half a dozen medium honey supers. Plywood boxes with furring strip braces on the outside cost about $1.50 each as apposes to $20-$25 plus shipping for the nice boxes. I may buy a couple of deep boxes, but I can’t see buying medium supers. They aren’t going to be on over the winter and if they don’t hold much weight if I put them on top. If they only last a year or two they are well worth the effort to nail a few of them together – the bees don’t care.