My Bees are Here 2nd Week Inspection

Well the drama again unfolded with my 2nd week inspection. My frame holder worked well but needs some modification. My simple braking/holding system failed and that was an inconvenience but I was able to take some better photos.

My 8 frames were evenly spread in the box and this resulted in a lot of cross comb every where. To limit this in future, on closing I put all the frames butting one another then squeezed a 9th shaved down frame in the outside slot. I know this will cause some flack, but the bees were stressing at the end, it was getting hot and I was stressing and I thought this was the quickest way to get closed and out. In the process of removing the cross comb I was left with a lot of deceased bees which was not nice at all. Hopefully this will be better next time.

The brush was not good. I had hoped to clear the frames of bees by brushing them off into the hive. The brush really stirred them up and while it did get them off the frames it upset the bees no end. I’ll have to practice the "sudden chuck stop method of getting bees off.

I opened the hive close to 11: 00 AM hoping a lot the bees would be out as the day was warm, clear and sunny. I am still amazed at the number of bees in the hive and on the frames. Every move I made be it ever so slow there was physical contact with thick wads of bees and that was nerve racking to say the least.

I didn’t see the queen and not sure about eggs and larvae but maybe the pics may show more.

My overall assessment was that all but one frame was 95% full of comb and that was about 60%. I think there was lavae but no eggs, even so that doesn’t worry me at this time maybe in two weeks it may.
There is still mass’s of blossom out on the Marri trees and pollen is coming in thick and fast.

Intention. I am going to leave the hive for 2 more weeks and probably do not much more than look at the out most 2 frames on each side and see how they have filled. The most outer on each side will be the new frame and the 60% filled one. I seem to be doing more harm than good now so I’ll let them rest a bit.
I will decide at next inspection whether to put the super on or not. Normally the Marri forest flowers though till end of March and I will have other trees flowering after that so I’m confident there will be food right through till Spring.

Just recapping the brood box has 5 frames from a NUC and 3 new,
with the extra frame I have just put in making 4 new.

The first 3 photos are of new comb which I think have some larvae

The next two are of the frames which came from the NUC.

I couldn’t see any eggs/larvae in those new cells
is your queen marked? Rather than brushing bees off just lay your finger gently over the bees and they will move out of the way. That will save you having to brush the bees off the frame. You really don’t need to be clearing the frame at this stage for a detailed look at every cell.
They are filling the cells with nectar as soon as they are drawing them so keep an eye and have another look in a week.

As for looking in next time the outer frames will be full of nectar/honey and don’t need more than a cursory glance. It’s the frames with brood in the middle that you should be having a look at
It can all be rather overwhelming when you first start. Have you an experienced beekeeper that can do an inspection with you?

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Nice pictures :slight_smile: You must have a macro lense :slightly_smiling:

I agree with Dee - all nectar and a few spots of pollen (the bright red dot is one) in the new comb, but no brood. However, there is uncapped brood in the nuc frames - around the edge of the capped brood.

I have a couple of thoughts.

  1. You and the bees might be a lot less stressed if you can use some smoke.
  2. I wouldn’t brush the bees off the frames - as you found, the bees hate it. Just photograph the frames with the bees still on them. You should be able to see enough, even with bees in the way. I would not chuck, jerk or flick them off either - don’t be too obsessional about seeing every cell.
  3. Putting in a 9th frame is one solution, but you shouldn’t need to. Just position all 8 frames with their shoulders touching, and leave a ~1cm gap on the outside of the frame next to the side walls. You may get some bridging comb there, but the bees will probably just extend the comb out a bit thicker on that side. You don’t want to space the frames out evenly in the brood box. If the bees start drawing deeper cells across all of the frames to correct the bee space, you risk developing too many drones and not enough workers. :blush:
  4. I would consider putting the Flow super on top soon if you have a good nectar flow. I would guess that in a week or two, your new comb could be full.

Nice job, sorry you got stressed, but you learned a lot!


Here’s a bit of new comb with eggs and larvae

  1. egg
  2. young larva with an older one to its right

ALWAYS use smoke.
I realize the very first Flow video advertisement portrayed smoke-less, unprotected beekeepers going through their hives while unicorns gleefully struck cheery poses in the background but that’s just not reality. Them bees don’t want you in their hive period lol.

If all frames are full except 40% of the last frame I’d be adding another box. Waiting 2 weeks could be asking for swarm mode for the bees.

Good luck Busso!

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Here is a video from Cedar of a brood check -
(smoke is used).

Thanks @Dee @Dawn_SD @Anon @Faroe for your comments. Crickey Dee the photos I have seen of eggs are “grains of rice” and Larvae “tiny grubs” Yours are eye openingly different.

Yes Dawn I tried the macho thing with only a protective veil but after the second frame I got a few stings to the hands (all good can’t even see where they got me now) so decided to suit up. And yes I will smoke and suit up next time.

Thanks Faroe I have seen that video . I notice Cedar has 9 frames in the brood. I just think it quite unfair that he and others have trained their bees to get out of the way and generally do as they are told. My girls just want to pile on the frame 6 deep, well maybe 2 or 3 deep and I can’t see a thing.
I try to just move them on with my hand and they fall down crying “he broke my leg, he broke my leg” which I didn’t, but the bee police get on my case anyway

Bit disturbing no eggs or larvae.

I will over the next week or so just watch, when I can and make decisions then. I live in a SHM free zone so no worries there, I know there is sufficient food through our mild winters, so maybe I should “first do no harm” and let them do their thing.

Thanks again all.

There ARE larvae, and they are less than 5 or 6 days old. I can see at least 10 in your bottom photo. I marked 5 of them with arrows for you. :wink:

So chin up and cheer up! :smile:

There is no brood in the NEW comb, but then you might expect that. If the new comb is next to the hive walls, the queen usually prefers to lay in the centre combs, so you wouldn’t see eggs or brood in the outer frames. The workers usually store nectar/honey and pollen in the outer frames, so that the brood is all in a sort of spherical area in the centre of the hive, where it is easier to keep warm.

LOL maybe they’re like a pet dog. You have to get to know them, treat em right, give em some treats, and then maybe they’ll co-operate.
Or maybe not :stuck_out_tongue:
They could be more like cats; who come over for a pat when they want, and other times ignore you, or mall you with the blink of an eye LOL

Maybe you need to bribe your bee police :wink:

My father used to say, “Dogs have owners, but cats have staff…” I wonder what he would have said about bees? :smile:

Of course, bees have every right to treat us as thieving criminals, given our reasons for keeping them in hives!

All cats possess a “murder” button. Try not to touch it lol.

Big big hugs:relieved::relieved::relieved:

I think there are bogus pictures out there. Now I really know what they look like.

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Your brood cells are quite thick and dark, and the lighting is difficult which makes it hard to spot the larvae. Plus with one good eye, you are at a disadvantage. I have seen tens (probably hundreds, but don’t want overestimate!) of thousands of larvae over the years, so it isn’t too hard any more. Eggs are getting harder as I age, but that is another story!

Don’t be discouraged. Just keep posting photos when you have questions, and we will try to help you out. Meanwhile your journey in beekeeping is fascinating to share, so thank you for being willing to do so.


Yes as my wife can testify, I do get discouraged at times when I start new ventures/projects. Usually it pervades on and on and on and gets me really down for about an hour or so,:cry: then I get on with it :slightly_smiling:.

Hi Dawn, what is you take on the white in the cells about 12-14 cell rows below your arrows, I’m thinking a little bit of chalk as I see some on mine at the moment,

Certainly they look like mummified larvae. I think @busso’s season and weather isn’t right for chalkbrood. I guess they could be chilled brood, but again, I can’t see why they would be cold. So without a close up examination, I think it is hard to say.