Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hive check: check!

Today was the big day to do our first hive check. It's been a bit over a week since we installed the bees, and the weather was cooperating. This is the inner cover, which goes under the outer cover and feeder, and directly over the super with all the action. You can see a bit of the burr comb on it that we had to scrape off.
Here's the lower deep super with the queen cage still in it, and more burr comb. If the frames aren't spaced right, they will fill in gaps with comb that has to be removed before they glue things in the wrong places. There was honey in it that was light and clear and tasted lovely. It might have been made mostly from the sugar syrup we're feeding them now though.

Here's one of the frames pulled out for inspection. We use a smoker to puff smoke at them which calms them and makes them go lower in the hive. But as you can see, plenty hang around for the inspection.

Check out the intrepid beekeeper peeking over the top of the frame, through her handy dandy veil. The bees are actually pretty calm right now, since they're busy making comb and stocking up lots of honey, nectar & pollen.

Here's a close up of a frame showing what else is going on. We never did see the queen, but you can see lots of babies in the brood cells if you click on the picture for a bigger version. Toward the bottom are bigger larvae, little curled up white things. The darker cells in the middle have yummy pollen snacks for the bees-to-be, and the upper cells have teeny tiny eggs. Next week we'll look again and hopefully see the brood cells capped and waiting to hatch. Bees only live about 3 weeks, so it's critical to have a healthy productive queen to keep new workers growing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pretty cool!