June 29th

I didn't pull any frames out. Just checked that the combs were coming along and straight.

foundationless comb on the other side of the moon hivePhoto by: Shawn Caza / CC: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

Six frames had some degree of comb started.

starting foundationless comb in the moon hivePhoto by: Shawn Caza / CC: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

The population had increased a fair bit, and things were starting to get jammed at the entrance.  I moved the entrance reducer a little bit out of the way.

opening up the entrance on the moon hivePhoto by: Shawn Caza / CC: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

I also cleared away some of the tall vegitation as it wasn't helping entry.

July 2nd

Still a traffic jam, so I opened up the entrance a bit more.

The nuc had some drone cells when we got it. We elected not to cut them out of this hive. I could see a fair number of them at the entrance. There was also one drone, most likely suffering from deformed wing virus, climbing the grass and flapping its wings trying desperately to fly.

Drone bee with deformed wingsPhoto by: Shawn Caza / CC: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

Not too much pollen at the entrance.  Still the bright orange, but also a bright yellow now. I did see a bee close by on clover. Still lots of bees on the mint, and one on what I suspect could be elderberry. I'm guessing the bright yellow pollen is from the lindens. There's a good amount around the hives. I keep looking up at them, but still haven't managed to witness any foraging there.

I first noticed bees with deformed wings virus(DWV) crawling around in front of one of our stronger hives in the late summer of last year.

We treated in the fall, and by spring symptoms had dissapeared. It was the strongest of our twenty hives this spring and we had to split it to try and keep it from swarming. By late summer(Sept. 1st) I once again started noticing bees with deformed wings. From this point in the season on, anytime I looked, I was able to find at least one if not a handful of damaged bees crawling around in the area directly in front of this one hive.

varroa mite on bee with DWVPhoto by: Shawn Caza / CC: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

Notice the mite on the bee in the above photo. Mites help transmit DWV and are the cause of more severe infections as they harbour a much higher concentration of the virus than is found in the bees themselves.

Bees with deformed wings are expelled from the hive and typically have a life span under 48 hours. Seeing large amounts of DWV is a clear indicator a hive is suffering from a serious varroa problem.

Bees with DWV may also have really stubby short abdomens. In some cases I see the short abdomens without necessarily seeing visibly deformed wings. I believe these stubby bees with healthy looking wings, are also incapable of flight.

Bees with DWV and short stubby abdomens.