Sunday, June 10, 2012

Inspection time!

It's been a week or so, and it's time to open the hive & see what the girls are up to. It's been pretty hot here and we've had some wicked hail along the way as well. My hive has some hail damage on the telescopic cover, as it's got a tin cover. Bees did fine, but the hive did get some dents and dings on the top. (see pic)
The wood wasn't damaged on the hive itself and the bees are fine!

It was was time to check out the inside of the hive, on my weekly inspection. My Husband and youngest son were on-hand as I did the inspection.

I have opted to wear shorts for my dealings with the open hive since it's less likely I'm going to get stung, it seems the couple times I have on my legs it's been because I've had a crawling bee up my jeans. I could probably tuck my jeans into my boots but it's been quite hot, and it's just easier to wear shorts.

I have been wearing a hoodie, my veil and gloves for inspections, for routine maintenance stuff, like feeding I don't do that.

So, after pulling one of the frames to make room, I set the removed frame off to the side on top of a box so that it wouldn't touch the ground. The frame I pulled first was almost all drawn out with comb, I could see the larvae, the capped cells and LOTS of bees! I scooted it over after I used my bee brush to sweep some of the bees out of the way. For the record, this should be done gently and slowly, I think I got a bit overzealous in my first sweep, as that buzzzzzzz was not a happy one! So, I took a step back to let them settle down. I've mentioned this before, but I don't use smoke. I have a spray bottle of sugar water but I've yet to actually use it. I just take a break whenever they seem to be agitated or in a frenzy.

Each of the frames I pulled were not only heavy, but also had full capped cells. I saw larvae, and even some cells that had bees coming out of them. I'm not sure if they were coming in and out of the cells because they were feeding larvae or what. Not really sure, heck, they could have been being "born" so, interesting. I did see my queen an inner frame, she has a yellow dot on her, and she looked different from the other bees with her elongated belly.

The day I did the inspection it was overcast and looking ready to storm, so, I did a little bit of clean up with my hive tool, I scrapped the hive the bees had built that was on the inner cover, I moved the frames a bit to make sure they weren't glued down with proplolis, did a visual inspection of all frames. At this time, I also noticed that even though I'd added the second super, I had been a bit premature, no comb had been drawn and the brood box was only about 3/4 full on it's frames. I opted to remove the second super. It had some comb on it, but not much, and only at the bottom of the frames where it looked like the bees had drawn up from the frames below.

I put the inner top and the outter top on the hive. I put the extra super away again.
My bees seem to be eating at a break neck rate, I'm replacing the 1:1 ratio pint of syrup once a day.

I have also been watching the bees do this cool little dance, where they sit on the end of the entrace to the hive, and wiggle their behinds and flap their wings like mad, but never leave. I'm not sure what they are doing, but it's neat to watch.

I also have seen that on the days when we are have been close to 100 degrees that they are bearding, not the whole hive, but a good part. Haven't had  chance to catch that on pics yet.

I will be doing an inspection again this week or maybe a the start of next week.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    I'm not a beekeeper, but I host some bee hives out in Arvada for Greg of Dakota Bees. I enjoy watching the bees and am enjoying the entire process immensely. I love your blog and am going to follow it.
    p.s. I'm very big on gardening too.