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Hive Inspection 6/5/16 - thoughts?


#1

At a BBQ the other night, I likened being a new beekeeper to being a new mom - always worried!

As of Friday, I was a little less worried than I had been a month ago, and then I went to Saturday’s beekeeping class, where the topic was pests and diseases. A whole new crop of things to worry about!! :wink:

But seriously, to my newbie eyes, the hives seem to be doing just fine, even though the North Hive has fallen a bit behind the South Hive. You can see what I mean in this album (complete with some notes):

https://goo.gl/photos/ocoMnovz99KuTuvq6

The hive in the first set of pictures in the album is the South Hive, to which I had just added a second box. The hive in the second set of pictures is the North Hive. From the looks of it, it will be a while before North gets more space. (Note: we tried to take photos of each side of each frame so we can compare at a later date…lots of photos!)

The South bees also tend to be a bit “messier”, as you can see by the giant piece of burr comb I had to pull off of the last inspected frame. (I attempted to “fix” this to an empty frame in the second brood box, though I’m not sure I did a great job of it…will check that tomorrow afternoon).

Interestingly, we didn’t see a queen in either box, but we know she is in there somewhere. Brood, larvae, the works…

Some interesting observations/notes:

  1. the laying pattern looks a bit odd to me, but not sure if that is because I’m new
  2. Not a lot of capped honey in either box, but lots of nectar stored. Are they just using the nectar as fast as they can bring it in, or is there just not enough room for storage, at least in the nearly-full South Hive?
  3. I saw my first waggle dance!!! Two bees going to town…I somehow lost the video!
  4. My classmate helped me out today, and convinced me that I should carry out the inspection with nothing more than a puff of smoke in the entrance. I was nervous, but I shouldn’t have been. These girls were very gentle, and never even pinged us!

Thanks for looking, and of course, if you have any observations/comments/thoughts, I’d appreciate them. It is always helpful for me to hear the (dozens of) opinions of more experienced beeks!

MaryBeth
Boulder, CO


#2

I have done my inspection with almost no smoke as well (the time I found my queen actually) and they were very mellow for me as well. Actually i haven’t found a difference between with and without smoke so far on my girls.

Cool to see so much uncapped larvae and capped workers on your frames. You went foundationless with package bees I’m guessing? I did a NUC and if I get a 2nd group of bees (vs. getting a split in a year or two) I’ll do package over NUC to learn both.

Picture 21 looks like a lot of capped honey and some uncapped. I am new (as in this is my 1st year), so see what others say in case I’m wrong. Just as a comment I tend to find a lot of my honey ether on the outer frames (as expected) or in the upper left/right corners of the frames.
More close-ups (I try to do a few of each side, then do areas where I want to look closer at the frame or just pick random spots) might help you see stuff post-inspection (I know they help me).


#3

I will definitely have more closeups next time. Hubby was having a hard time with glare on his iphone!

And yes, I started with a package and foundationless frames. I just added a second box to the North Hive last Thursday, and on the advice of a local mentor, started to feed the bees again. I hadn’t thought about the fact that these are brand new hives that have to build 2 deep boxes of comb from scratch AND put away enough nectar for winter. They are taking the sugar water like mad…and still flying and collecting. Such hard workers!