The midsummer doldrums do seem to be starting in the bee yard. This is far from all bad: Everyone was much more laid back today and didn’t come after me even when I scraped burr comb. Today’s status:
The left-most hive doesn’t seem to have done anything with their super since last week. The next hive, the plastic haters still had two frames undrawn in their top hive body. I gave them a honey super anyway because they’ve been doing just in time wax drawing. They drew two frames last week, and filled them as they went. I think it very likely that if I played chicken with them over the last two frames I’d be finding swarm cells next week. They got a shallow super of undrawn wax foundation.
The next hive over got the other shallow super as their second. They were in the same state as their righthand neighbor had been last week, comb drawn but lots of nectar space. The righthand hive, that got their second super last week was still exploring, with basically nothing done to it.
Despite deploying the two supers this week, I’m not in so much of a hurry to buy more woodenware. Things are definitely slowing down. I’m also going to try to keep out of the hives next weekend. Everybody has plenty of space now, I really don’t see anyone needing more room for at least two weeks.
I have a note to add in the interest of truth in farming. The beehives are downwind from where we currently have the pigs on stump patrol. Advocates of pastured pork are quick to point out that given the opportunity, pigs will setup a latrine area and not foul their whole pen. They are correct. It is then usually strongly implied that confinement in quarters too small is why pigsties smell. The implication is incorrect. Our piggies have plenty of room. Their latrine is 30 feet from where they hang out all day. It smells just as bad as they did when they were in the sheep pens.
Relatedly, I have seen claims that if allowed to be, pigs are clean animals. This is laughable. Pigs, given the opportunity will dig in the ground with their noses, and then go wallow in mud. Nope, a happy pig is a filthy pig. And a very cute pig.