On April 15th, I inspected all three hives. The hive with the most flight activity recently drew 8 foundation strips and filled the frames solid with honey. I am out of medium boxes, so I quickly supered with a deep box containing foundation strips. I am surprised to see a good nectar flow (and storage) before the arrival of tulip poplar flowers. Weeks ago, I planned to use my deep boxes to split this hive, but they chose to build vertically and not place queen cells where I can find them. This could be my big honey year or this could be my imagination.
The other two hives are drawing their foundation strips and filling the frames with honey at a much slower pace. All hives have an amazing low number of small hive beetles (SHB) above the inner cover - killed 3 SHB per hive. Knock on wood the SHB population remains within bee manageable limits.
I quickly ordered more medium sized boxes boxes from Brushy Mountain and they arrived in four days. The frames have a new milled shaped, most noticeably with a redesign of the frame sides (aka end bars). The frames are easier to assemble than the old design. My only concern is with nooks where sides meet the top bar and how they may become hiding places for SHB - I have an very active imagination when it comes to SHB.
At the MABA meeting, Jerry Wallace suggested gluing the frames on day1 and nailing them on day2 - works great and preformed better at keeping the frame pieces at right angles. Thanks Jerry, you are the bee man.
On April 19, I found pieces of tulip poplar flowers and unopened flowers that the wind and squirrels have tossed to the ground. Nothing worth photographing until I found one medium sized tulip poplar flower head for this blog post.