I needed to check the bees in the Thermosolar hive hadn’t glued their roof down again, and for that I needed the propolis to be really soft. It’s a hot day today in the south east, and while I was there I thought I would put a honey box (super) on too, so they have some room to expand as there is still a fair bit of foraging weather to be had, and the Himalayan balsam is out now; an alien invader that nonetheless provides a stack of nectar for bees of all species.
They still weren’t very pleased to see me! Anyway, I removed the roof and scraped off the propolis, and added the super. I put a thin cotton cloth on top of the frames, and secured the lid. These hives have an entrance in every box, and as they seem to be getting quite warm in their insulated hive, I opened the top entrance too. This will also allow them to fill the super more quickly as they can go directly to the top storage space. It’s important to watch for wasps (and other honeybees) robbing hives at this time of year, so I will go back and check next week but it is a large and feisty colony so I am confident they can keep the top storey policed.
It was breezy on site, which given the soaring temperature was extremely welcome, and the grasshoppers were springing up in clouds as I walked through the long grass. The resident yellowhammer was singing from an overhead wire, and a buzzard exploited the thermals and drifted ever higher as I carried out the hive inspection. Many of the Michaelmas daisies have gone over, leaving room for thistles and trefoils in their wake.
I am hoping that the warmth will encourage wax building in the top box of the hive, as it is getting late in the season to be increasing in size. The bees will be beginning to prepare for autumn and putting their energy in to consolidating, but at least they have a little more room now if they need it.