Saturday, May 30, 2009

Inspection Day 5/30/09

These are shots of the first full inspection of the hive, twenty days after the hive was populated. Since I have two standard frames in the top medium hive box I moved that entire box to rest into an empty spare hive box off to the side. This comb is from the lower box and adjacent to the area which the standard frame extends into. It looks like it was designed by the Frank Gehry of bees.
You can click on the pictures to get a full wider view and look for the Queen. Let me know if you find her.

This frame looks to have capped honey and some yellow pollen in the lower right.

Looks like the wax is done and they are starting to fill the cells.

Capped brood? Honey? I need more experienced eyes to tell me.
This is on the bottom of one frame. There are no queen cells anywhere. Beekeeping For Dummies says Queen cells on the bottom are swarm cells. With no other indications of swarming and the hive only 20 days old, Kirk says this may be a cap cell, not a queen cell. I am to watch it and check back in a week. Busy bees and this looks like brood cells to me. The bee to the right of my tool has its head all the way into the hole and is doing something. Shaping the cell? Cleaning it? Making a deposit? Feeding someone? I did not see anything in the cell but there was the same activity in other cells too.
I looked closely at this group to find the queen but I did not spot her. I checked all the mass groupings of bees with no luck. Positioning the frames to leave room to add the upper hive box with a couple longer frames. All the frames are put back to their original positions if possible.
Look closely at my leg and you will notice I forgot to zip the pants leg and there are bees all over that area. I got lucky and maybe i will remember to seal things better next time.
Upper hive box in place and starting to lift out the frames. The 2nd & 3rd frames from the right are the longer frames, all the others are mediums. I think this is a good prospective queen location but no sign of her.

Beautiful new comb being filled with honey.
This frame seems to be full and the bees are capping off the honey cells.
This is one of the longer frames and bees are building wax to fill the void beneath it. When I go back in I will take all of this extra comb off. At some point I will find out how to replace the long frames with mediums. Since the Queen came in on the long frames I am hesitant to change them out right now. I believe this is the frame on the far end from the long frames, another Gehry design. There are 2-3 empty frames between this one and the other frames with wax in them. I don't know but suspect the odd shape is due to having the empty frame next door. As soon as that frames starts to fill the wax will be perfect and straight again. (I will admit to making up answers if you demand answers for everything.) This is the other long frame and some festooning bees that may be making wax to fill between the two wax pieces.. Jim, the senior member of our clan and still unable to skip a chance for silly poses. He took all the pictures and tried to act as a gofer but rarely understood what I was yammering about. He was very good moral support as I acted imperious and stuck my nose in everywhere.
I did not see the queen and never really looked for larvae but the hive seems very active and working well. This hive is joint group of two groups initially but they seem harmonious now. The last tow visits were 10 days apart. I will go back next weekend and look at that possible Queen cell, mark the frame, and look harder for the queen or larvae. I will also collect the wax off the bottom of the two loner frames.

Work hard bee happy.

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