Inspection #2

Yesterday we completed our second inspection of the hive and managed to remove one of the long brood frames that I’ve been hoping to give back to David.  The inspection overall was quite successful.  We managed to locate the queen and ensure she is beginning to lay in the new frames we installed three weeks ago.  My dad came to take some pictures while we were opening the hive and both he and I managed to get ourselves stung in the process.  I tried my best to work without gloves for the first time and just can’t seem to get over the feeling of them crawling on my fingers.  My body naturally wants to brush them off and (as I learned), the bees aren’t terribly fond of that idea.   Anyway, below is a mix of my pictures and my dad’s pictures.

We started with the top super that we added last time and I was amazed to see that in three weeks they’ve drawn out comb on four of the frames including the one below which was one of the end frames and is full of honey and pollen.

Here’s a close up of the pollen.  I love seeing all the amazing colors they bring in – they are much, much sharper in person.

The next frame over in the super was a foundationless frame that I added to see what they’d do with it.  In my mind, its another clear argument for top bar beekeeping.

In the close up you can see the honey dripping off some of the burr comb that we had to tear in order to move the frame from the super.

We then removed the super and moved on to check out the top of the brood box below the super.  As soon as we removed the honey super I was hopeful that she had started to lay on the new frames that we installed at our last visit.  You can see the three darker frames donated by David that started this hive originally.

We did manage to tear some brood cells while removing the top super which left some larvae exposed.  The good news is that I pulled a few out and saw no evidence of mites.

Here’s one of the two original brood frames.   This was the cleanest frame and I believe the one we added to a nuc box and brought back to David.

Here is the second frame with some serious burr comb.  I removed it on this frame, but the bees didn’t take kindly to it, so I left it on the other.

I didn’t get a shot of the third frame.  It had the queen on it and I frantically tried to get a picture of her but (as always) she moves a bit too fast for me and I end up with just a bunch of fuzzy bees.

On to the exciting part:  the queen has officially started to lay outside of the original frames.  We’ve had her since this past July and this is the first time she’s moved.

You can see more larvae here and I believe there’s also a few drone cells.

Wayne lifted up the brood box for me to insert a new frame with foundation in the box below.  We didn’t get into that bottom box at all to see what, if anything, is happening there and based on this picture, you can see why.  🙂

Overall a great inspection.  The queen is still present and is laying.  The are clearly storing honey even with the challenge of having to draw out the foundation first.  I’m so glad to see them active and healthy.

Based on what we found yesterday, I’m going to start checking the super on top a bit more frequently to ensure they have plenty of room for storage.  I hope our good luck continues.

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2 Responses

  1. you guys don’t cease to amaze me. Quite impressive. Way to go.

  2. I find it of interest that the bee went for my hair, not my face. Like Julia, I could not resist using my hand to try and move a bee out of my scalp hair – which led directly to getting stung on the scalp Next time I will try to look less like a bear seeking honey – by wearing a hat.

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