During the next season SMF will install an observation hive so that visitors at the farm will have the opportunity to observe up close the Russian Honey Bees. Here are some additional observations:
- The smaller winter cluster is frugal, conserving resources to survive the winter. Spring inspections show honey stores still available.
- Brood appears spotty during periods of dearth. It is suggested that workers eat back some brood to conserve resources. Good brood patterns are seen during a flow and spotty brood patterns are seen after a flow. (Next Russian Bee History)
Here is an example of a sugar slab that has been placed directly on top of the frames. The bees have started to eat away the sugar. Once a hole is eaten, the colony begins to eat away the candy in a circular pattern that starts at the center of the hole and works outward. The sugar slab does not require a frame but the frame can be very useful. A wooden frame minimizes condensation in the hive creating better air circulation. The frame also keeps the hard candy from cracking while getting the feed to the hive.
(click on picture to enlarge)