Tuesday, May 19, 2009

First Inspection 5/19/09

Back from the Vintage Trailer Rally and trapped at home while the city puts asphalt slurry on the street makes it a good time to do the first hive check. The Bees have been in place for 10 days and should be well adjusted to their new home. I do some work on the board of the local dog park and convinced one of my fellow board members, Judy, to give me a hand. Before I left town I gave her my copy of Beekeeping for Dummies to study. I gave her a bee hat & veil but her bare legs kept her at a little of a distance. My camera is one of those pocket size models which does not have a great zoom but she did her best with what I provided.

Studying the scene and gathering courage for the initial foray.

Adding a little smoke and learning that I needed more fuel than I had in it initially. It went out before I was done. Good thing my Judy was there to add more fuel and re-light it for me. I was already nervous enough for both of us.

The frame on the ground was the first one removed and it held the comb that Kirk at tied in the first day. It was well attached so I removed the string which was almost eaten through by the bees. In fact this comb was attached to both frames so I had to slice through it to remove the frames.

This is the second frame coming out. it had some comb on it but not all the way across yet.

This is all new comb. Not all the frames had comb on them, they were sort of out of order because of the way they were loaded initially. The "tied" frame was on one end and had more comb next to it then some empty frames. The standard size frames were near the other end and extended down to the lower hive box. They were very full and adjacent frames had new comb..

Looking for the queen. I did not find her this time, more experience will help.

One of the frames adjacent to the extended frames, this is all new comb too. I looked at some of the frames in the bottom hive but not all of them. I need to do more prep work before I can do a more thorough job. When I wanted to inspect the lower hive box, I tried to set the upper hive box with the extended frames on a couple cinder blocks so they would not touch the ground. That worked but it was not very stable. I did not want to endanger the hive by leaving it there and having it fall over.
The next time I will be sure to have an empty hive box set up close by so I can put the longer frames in there while I inspect the others. I did not see any capped brood which was there originally but I did not look very closely at the lower frames and that brood may have hatched in the last 10 days. Not 100% successful but good enough for a first effort in my book. I will see if I can find a more experienced beekeeper to show up next time and give me a hand. More than one set of eyes looking for the queen would be a good thing.