Technically it’s two inspections, but I’ll write about them as one. Last Friday I cruised over to the bee yard after dinner to check on the ladies. I popped the top of hive #1, and started poking around.
Everything was looking good! I pulled frames out and eyeballed them. The brood pattern was great, so the queen is nice and healthy. It was pretty tough to take pictures so I didn’t really end up with any.
One lesson I learned was that a frame rest is a rather important thing. When working a hive you pull a couple of the outside frames out to give you room to manipulate the inside frames. I had a spare hive body that I used to put the outside frames while I worked the hive.
It was fine with the first frame, but the second frame sorta freaked them out. I’m not sure if they thought they lost their hive, or what, but the bees on those frames were really wigging out. Alot.
Anyhow, it was getting dark and I decided to wrap it up after I was done with Hive 1. I thought I’d probably have to come back and add a second hive box that weekend to accomodate the explosion in population that I was expecting.
Rudy’s Note: Rule of thumb is that one full frame of capped brood will be three full frames of bees within twelve days. Full egg to hatch time for worker bees is 21 days, and 21 days from hiving was this past Monday.
Since I had four or so frames of capped brood, within two weeks I should have another 12 frames of bees … more than enough for a full hive body.
On Saturday I ran past the apiary supply store and picked up a frame grip. With a frame grip I can take pictures of the frames as I remove them, which should help quite a bit. Pictures later on…
Sunday after church (and lunch) my daughter and I went back with two hive bodies and frames to match. This time I started with Hive 2. It looked about as good as Hive one did. Healthy brood pattern, busy bees, and something that scared the crud out of me.
I didn’t notice at the time, but after reviewing the pictures I took, there were a few abnormal cells at the bottom of a couple of the frames. My first instinct was that they were swarm cells, since they were at the bottom of the frames. After consulting with some other folks though, they told me that this is simply how the bees make drone sells on foundation. Still going to keep an eye on them.
All in all, everything looked great, so I added a new deep hive body to each hive and will go back this weekend to see how we’re doing. Hopefully I’ll be adding honey supers soon. Blackberries should start flowing soon. That’s some good honey.
Anyhow, if you want to see some of the pictures I took, they’re here at this link. All are of hive two.