Archive for November, 2009

2009-11-21 inspection

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

It’s been 23 days since I took a quick peek in the hive.  We haven’t had a freeze yet.  John affirms that the bees are there, “see bees, not dead.”

It was a nice day today.  Noah and I went out with the camera to do an inspection.

We found and killed 3 hive beetles.  I tried brushing bees off a frame to see what they were up to which they didn’t like at all.  I saw the queen.  There’s a lot more honey than last time and there’s even some pollen.  I’m encouraged that the bees will live.  Later I looked at the pictures and I didn’t see the queen in them.  She could be too quick for me.  I hope I didn’t get her with the brush.  I don’t think the brush really added any value.

I took the sugar water out a week or two ago and the bees have been living off the land.  There’s much more honey than in my last set of pictures 6 weeks and 2 days ago.  I hope it came from the land, but I can’t say for sure.  It looked like the bees may have been eating honey because there were bees inside some cells.

Let’s take a look at the changes since the October 8th inspection (6 weeks, 2 days):

Frames 1, 2, 3: no change

Frame 4 (outside): I think there’s more comb built out on this side, but the big change was that frames 4 and 5 were stuck together and there’s a big hole in frame 4 about 8 cells in diameter.  The bees appear to be either using the cells in the hole or repairing it.  We’ll see next time.

Frame 4 (inside): There’s a nice wide band of capped honey on this frame now.  It’s about 8″ wide and in the top half of the frame.  The cells below the band look like they have water or nectar in them.  There were more bees on this frame than last month.  They’re mostly on the cells below the capped honey.

Frame 5 (outside):  This frame is now about half capped honey.  There’s a ball of sealed brood in the center.  I see some larvae and some empty (maybe with eggs) cells.  Other cells appear filled with liquid as before.   There appear to be far fewer bees than last month.  There are few bees on the capped honey, they’re all on the other cells, so perhaps the bees are elsewhere in the hive.

Frame 5 (inside): Fewer bees on this frame, but lots of activity in a band around the brood.  Few bees on the honey.  The queen was on the very bottom of this frame before brushing.  I’ll bet she ran over to the other side!  This is the dirtiest capped honey I’ve ever seen.  This must be a high traffic area.

Frame 6 (inside): Capped honey extends almost to the bottom of the frame around the circle of brood in the center.  Last month is was just in the top corners with a little band across the top.  There was far more brood last month.  This is the largest brood patch in the hive.  There is sealed brood and larvae and some empty cells.  The honey is as dirty as on frame 5.  Not many bees here.

Frame 6 (outside): Almost the same as the other side of this frame.  Plenty of brood, honey almost to the bottom of the frame and dirty.  There are pollen cells.  Not many bees here.

Frame 7 (inside): Mostly honey on this frame.  There’s pollen where the brood would be.  Not too many bees on this frame.

Frame 7 (outside): Lots of bees here, many more than last month.  I can’t see what the bees are doing, but I suspect they’re filling this frame with nectar for honey.

Frame 8 (inside): There were fewer than a dozen bees on this frame last month.  Now there’s some good activity.  There may be some comb built up, it’s hard to tell.

Frame 8 (outside): No activity.

Frames 9 and 10 show no change.

I closed up and put in a jar of sugar and an overflow jar (6 cups 1::1 made more than one jar).