I robbed the beehive at the end of September, removing eight small frames and one large frame. The walnut colored honey flowed smooth and I ended with fifteen pint jars that taste like roasted peaches.
Since then, the hive seems quiet and I worry that the swarm fractured. I avoid the hive to avoid my dread of discovering that my queen is not as strong and hearty as I believed. I avoid the hive to avoid my disappointment and to hold onto my belief that I create an environment to support a thriving hive. I stand ten feet from the hive in the waning light last evening and watch a Yantzee cup full of bees spin around the hive opening and I resign myself to opening the hive in the morning. I make a silent prayer as I suit up and walk to the back part of the lot. When I remove the top of the hive, I discover a quiet hive and it makes me worry.
Then I set to removing a frame from the super box only to discover that the swarm has laid so much propolus about the frame joints that I must vigorously work to separate one frame edge from the neighbors and then from the actual box. As I lift the frame out….it is HEAVY, fully capped and looks like sun gold with the sun rays penetrating through the comb.
I take out a few more frames to confirm my discovery and realize my Queen is indeed formidable. There is no need to dismantle her kingdom to prove it. Her evidence is shown by ten small frames in the super box that were empty on September 28th and are now refilled. She has made the hive ready for winter.