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2nd inspection by a new hive keeper


Here’s the pics from the 2nd inspection by a newbie…I used just a little fuel, so the smoker is only putting out a little, but they were calm as can be (get it? “be”?) I like going with the idea of less is better, myself. I do see the marked queen. One of the pics looks like some capping. Some white with small holes, some a darker, yellowish color. Any enlightening you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Some bees were returning during the inspection heavily laden with pollen as well.


Yes the cappings are a different colour and cap different things
Have a look at the position
The clue is in the last picture
What do you see in the middle of the yellowish capped cells where the bees haven’t yet capped?

The yellow caps have propolis added to make them breathable
The white caps are wax only and seal what is underneath

Go on…you know you can work it out


Actually they have pollen added to make them breathable. Later iterations will have chewed cocoons added for the same purpose.


It’s difficult to tell for certain…but I would say it could be eggs and/or larvae? Keep in mind, I’ve never seen anything like this before.


Do you know I could have sworn it was propolis…maybe it’s both?


Yay…that’s the answer. Well done. I’m not being patronising I promise.
Beekeeping is hard to just "wing it"
Have you joined a beekeeping club to arrange a beginners’ course? I strongly recommend you do.


Oh, I didn’t think you were condescending to me at all. I greatly appreciate your responses. I looked trying to find a local, I knew an experienced person would be invaluable to me. I found one guy, my dairy farmer called him “the bee guy”. I spoke to him twice…instead of being willing to teach me anything, he wanted me to buy 4 hives from some guy in East Texas…all bolted to a pallet. Told me I couldn’t even start without a fork lift. And that he’d have no time to help me. ALL he knew was commercial level stuff, had no real feeling for any of it. Didn’t know what kind of bees those were or anything. Told me it was impossible to do this without a honey extractor. I know it most certainly is…grandpa did it fine. Was repeatedly personally insulting as well. Kinda shut that door. There’s just two of us for this honey…one hive will make more than we’ll use so we’ll store some and give some to her work mates that truly appreciate fresh, raw, unheated honey…kinda like we do with our extra fresh farm eggs. On any nice day I sit maybe 6’ in front of the hive just to watch. They also get to know me and get used to me. I Have no fear of honey bees, don’t mind if one’s crawling on me checking me out (unless it tries to go under my clothes)…as calm as they are with me after only 3 weeks, I wouldn’t have qualms about inspecting with only a bee hat/veil on…'cept the wife won’t let me. Didn’t matter I wouldn’t have needed any protection so far. They simply didn’t care I was there…none even stopped to look at me. In short, I need to depend on people like you…again: I appreciate your comments very much. I learned something I missed when I was holding the frames…of course, the comb wasn’t attached to the frame bottom, so I couldn’t tilt the frame and look really good…it’s why I had her taking some pics I could review later. Oh, that guy heads a small local commercial group…that was my only option in our neck of the woods.


Propolis gets used all over in a bee colony, but it’s not for its breathability. If you want to know what pollen mixed with propolis looks like it’s at the attachment on the top bar. This they tear down after they build the comb and then mix in propolis and rebuild it. For cappings, pollen and cocoons are used for their breathability.