Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Into The Hive

This past weekend I planned on going into the hive but things happened and I did not make it so come Monday morning it was time for a solo jaunt in among the bees.

When I removed the top cover the bees were very calm and peaceful. They stayed that way when I too the top super and set it into an empty hive box..
This is the bottom box with the space where the two large frames extend down into the lower box. I believe that bit of comb broke off the #3 frame when I lifted the upper super off. No problems so far, everybody was calm. Until I reached in to grasp that piece of comb. Suddenly no one was happy. I gently took the comb and put it into the #1 frame still in the hive box. I probably should have removed it but I am new at this and those were unhappy bees. They calmed just a little bit so i continued and looked at all the frames, removing all but that #1.

This was typical of the frames in the lower box.

This is one of my Frank Gehry frames still off not square. I would hold that one out and place it into the third super I added as I finished.
I lost track but believe this is from the lower frame and these are brood cells.

This is from the second super and looks to have lots of pollen.
This is one of the large frames that arrived with brood cells and new comb added at the bottom since my last visit about 20 days ago..
I looked for eggs but did not see any. There were plenty of larvae about. If you look at the middle arrow and move to the left there appears to be a bee with a very large brown thorax. This might be the queen. I was unable to positively identify her when I was in the hive and only noticed this one when blew up and cropped the picture.

When I was done I had a three box hive, all mediums. I pulled one of the frames with honey in it and placed it in the middle of the top box.
The next time I go into the hive, 3-4 weeks, I will cut down the comb in the two large frames and replace then with medium frames in the two lower hive boxes. Another learning experience to look forward to. The bees seem healthy and reproducing nicely with evidence of a queen. I have no clue how many they are but we will see how long it takes them to fill most of that third super. Since that will likely be My honey, I will be watching them closely.
As I read other blogs and forums I am happy to being doing this in So Cal where we are not subject to massive rains in the Spring and Summer. With our climate I doubt anything close to a 'dearth" exists around here and my Spanish lavender never stops blooming.

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