Bee update: Hive Inspection

We promised ourselves we would do a complete inspection today.  Because of our schedules today, we didn’t get the opportunity to open the hive until late in the evening (6pm).  We try not to open the hives so late for several reasons.  First, most of the bees will be in the hive that late in the day and second, they will be aggravated.  All that said, I’m glad we did it.  I was able to shoot a video and after spending about 20 minutes trying to remember how to transfer to the computer, the end result is below.

I started with a quick external inspection just to make sure everything appeared to be okay at first glance.  You can see tons of activity at the front of the hive.  We then removed all the supers and inspected a few frames from each starting from the bottom and working our way up.   We are quiet at the beginning (not much to say), but do start yapping part of the way through.  We like to talk to one another while we’re inspecting.  It makes for a better learning experience (for me at least).

A few notes:

1 – We didn’t mention it in the video, but you can see another queen cell on one of the brood frames.  I took a picture:

Queen Cell

Since they just re-queened, I don’t understand the queen cells unless they were already feeling crowded again?  Maybe it’s left over from earlier when they re-queened?

2 – We did not see the queen.  That doesn’t worry me at all since they are many, many signs of her activity within the hive.

3 – Although I tried to zoom in, I’m not sure I showed the larvae well during the video.  Here’s a picture that’s quite a bit clearer.  If you click on it, you’ll be able to see various stages of uncapped brood.  As I mentioned, I’m still not complety sure I can pick out eggs, but I may try it the next (sunny) day we inspect.

Bee Larva

4 – After adding the super, we opened the nuc.  If I had thought through it in advance, I would have borrowed a frame or two of brood and moved it into the nuc.  We would have needed to search diligently for the queen to make sure we didn’t move her and then allowed the bees to grow their own queen.  Since I didn’t have the forethought to plan, we instead took the frames of honey and very small number of bees from the nuc and moved it into the larger hive.   Basically, the split failed and we added it back into the main hive.  I left the empty nuc by the hive entrance to allow the left over bees to wander over at their leisure.  At some point we may attempt a split again.

So, here’s how we ended the day:

Dismantled Nuc

So, we’re back down to one hive again – at least temporarily.  We have two hives that should be ready for pickup any day now.

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