Hive Inspection

I have a hard time believing its winter.  It’s beautiful outside (65 or so) and the bees are wonderfully active.  They’ve been buzzing around all morning and returning promptly with pollen.  Here’s a quick video of the exterior of the hive.

Taking advantage of the warm weather,  Wayne and I opened up the hive to feed the bees one last time and take a look at any differences since our last inspection.

Everyone seems very active and healthy.  We found several small hive beetles in the empty top feeder which we either squished or drown when we added the sugar syrup.  Inside the hive we were pleasently surprised to find that they are finally storing honey in almost all the frames!  On the top we found one full frame of untouched honey and one they’ve just begun to uncap.  I still don’t think they have enough to survive the winter, so we’ll continue to feed as needed.

The older frames that came with the original bees still have brood; however, I’m quite concerned about the dark color of the honey (if that’s what it is) around the exterior.  I’m hoping its not evidence of the SHBs taking over.  I did see several stages of brood including larvae.  As mentioned above, the bees are bringing in pollen so I assume the queen is continuing to lay although we were unable to see her.

Because of the fact that the original brood frames were standard national and my current frames are shallow, I was unable to put frames in the box immediately below three of the frames (boy that’s a mouthful!).  The bees seem to be taking advantage of the extra space and they are building out burr comb as far down as they can.  I removed a small piece that was in our way, but left the rest to be dealt with another time.