The forecast for the next seven days is for thundershowers, so when the rain stopped late yesterday afternoon I decided to seize the moment. I donned the new gear and Harvey and I headed over to the hives. The inspection was as I expected. Hive 2, the weakest one, is still the weakest one. The original bottom hive box still has some frames with no drawn comb, but the 2nd story was quite full. I couldn't find her majesty but I found plenty of honey, capped brood, larvae and comb being reused as a nursery. It was overcast and close to 6PM, so I didn't even try to see eggs. This hive had several queen cells, which I removed. I added a third box to the hive so now all three colonies are three high.
Super duper Hive 1 is still super duper. I found the queen in the middle box so I stopped inspecting. This colony is everything I want it to bee. It could bee in the textbook for what a good hive should look like.
Hive 3, the latecomer to my beeyard is also doing very well and is not far behind Hive 1. I couldn't find the unmarked queen but I did see capped brood and larvae and that will have to do.
The protective beesuit did its job. These suits are not sting proof, but sting resistant. Even with 100% cotton, the humidity outside made a steam bath inside the suit. I wish I hadn't forgotten the sweatband I had procured from Harvey's bureau drawer. My hair was soaking wet and my shirt and t-shirt were soggy. My leather gloves were sticky with bee stuff and the fingers are too long. Alas, I crushed many bees while handling the frames and I saw some of my girls trying to sting my fingers (and I felt them vibrate against the leather), but thankfully, those gloves are sting proof. The new domed hood is a huge improvement over the hat and veil I had been using. So much of the beekeeping is done bent over and the old hat and veil would flop around loosely on my head, a serious distraction. The new domed veil zips to the neck of the jacket and this is a far better design. I have improved visibility and my hat can't fall off.
Sting count remains at 8.