Archive for May, 2010

Inspection 2010-05-16

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Mary-Grace and I went out on Sunday to take a look at the hive.  The weather has been warm for the last two weeks with temperatures in the 80’s and 90’s.  It’s been very dry and I put a jar of water out, which the bees do not appear to have touched.  I guess they’ve got other sources in this land of lawn sprinklers.

I didn’t use any smoke, but this inspection was very difficult for me for other reasons.  There were so many frames with plenty of bees and I didn’t have a place to put the frames pose inspection.  I put one leaning on the platform on either side of the hive to make room to slide the rest.  Still there wasn’t enough room and my gloves got very sticky and covered with bees resulting in some bumps as I disengaged from the frames.  Bees don’t like bumps and there were some angry flights at my hood.  I’m going to have to have Bill and Art come over to tutor me the next time and maybe get another hive body so I can swap back and forth each inspection.

Getting to the frames underneath is also troublesome and I hate crushing bees as I put the top box back on the bottom box.

Frame 1 (out): About 10 bees crawling around two weeks ago, about 40 bees this time.  The foundation on this frame is not straight, it bows out.

Frame 1 (in): 4 bees crawling -> 70 bees crawling

Frame 2 (out): About 150 bees crawling around on this side.

Frame 2 (in): There were only about 20 bees crawling around two weeks ago.  This time, there’s comb and capped honey in a band across the top.  The comb hasn’t reached the bottom of the frame, but there’s liquid in the cells that have been built.

Frame 3 (out): The progress on this frame in two weeks is marvelous.  There’s comb to the bottom of the frame, a band of honey at the top and the bees are in the process of sealing in some larvae in the middle of the frame.

Frame 3 (in): A good number of bees.  A band of honey at the top and a band of larvae in the middle.

Frame 4 (out): The holes in the comb have been partly repaired.  The whole comb, except for a band of honey at the top is sealed brood, dotted with larvae and nectar.

Frame 4 (in): Like the other side of the frame, this one is full of brood, dotted with nectar and larvae with a strip of honey at the top.

Frame 5 (out): Most of the brood cells are now occupied by larvae, so we’re on the next generation of bees from the last inspection.

Frame 5 (in): A mix of nectar, larvae and sealed brood.  The queen’s down on the lower right of the frame.

Frame 6 (in): More bees than two weeks ago.  A mix of sealed brood, larvae and nectar.

Frame 6 (out): Like frame 5 and the inside of 6, there’s less sealed brood and more larvae and nectar.

Frame 7 (in): About the same amount of sealed brood but more larvae here this time.

Frame 7 (out): Some honey around the top here this time.  A mix of larvae and sealed brood on the rest of the comb.

Frame 8 (in): Like frame 3, this frame’s gone from comb activity to honey at the top with mostly sealed brood and some larvae on the rest of the comb.

Frame 8 (out): Honey at the top, sealed brood in a band across the middle.

Frame 9 (in): Few bees last time, band of honey with nectar down below the half-way mark on the frame.

Frame 9 (out): The comb is starting to develop here now.

Frame 10 (in): A few dozen bees crawling about.  No development.
Frame 10 (out): A few bees crawling about.  No development.

Frames 11-14:  Added 3 frames last time.  These frames are wired on both sides of the foundation as an experiment (and to avoid using an embedder).  There are bees crawling up and down these frames, but there appears (I didn’t really look too hard) to be no construction work going on.  These frames are between the door and the frames above, so maybe they’re just commuting to work?


Inspection 2010-05-02

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

In the late afternoon, Noah and I went out to the hive.  There’s been so much activity since the last inspection (I did one without pictures and without reporting here in early April).  At that time, there were more bees and more brood.

This time, there’s been a bee/brood explosion and activity on frames that have never been used.  I also saw a bee attack a hive beetle which was very good to see.

Frame 1 (out): some bees here.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen bees here!

Frame 1 (in): bees here too!

Frame 2 (out): bees here, which is new.  Killed a hive beetle on the frame.

Frame 2 (in): bees here!

Frame 3 (out): hundreds of bees.  Comb near the top.  Maybe some nectar storage beginning.  this frame was untouched previously.  There’s a hole in the middle of the frame

Frame 3 (in): hundreds of bees.  A glob of comb has been built near a hole.  Perhaps the foundation broke and the bees built it up anyway?  There’s new comb toward the upper right of this frame.  It looks like mostly nectar storage, but there might be some pollen in there also.

Frame 4 (out): There were no bees at all on this frame last month.  Now there are hundreds.  Holes around the wires have lengthened into long gaps.  The comb is much better developed and looks to be used for nectar.

Frame 4 (in): thousands of bees?  The picture’s blurry but there appears to be good comb development and perhaps pollen storage.

Frame 5 (out): this frame has been converted from honey to brood.  Thousands of bees here, maybe 2/3 brood.

Frame 5 (in): Another brood explosion here.  Honey’s gone, brood and larvae on a good half of this frame.

Frame 6 (in): Thousands of bees.  Honey gone, brood on 2/3 of the frame.

Frame 6 (out): Thousands of bees.  maybe 50% brood?

Frame 7 (in): Thousands of bees.  50% brood.  Queen seen running to other side of frame.

Frame 7 (out): fewer bees here than on the last few frames.  Brood in middle have hatched, brood ring around center.

Frame 8 (in): hundreds of bees.  Comb developing, liquid storage.  Nothing here last month.

Frame 8 (out): thousands of bees.  comb developing on upper half.

Frame 9: a handful of bees on either side.

Frame 10: a few bees on the inside of the frame.  This is a new development.

Frame 11:  A frame in the box below appears to be untouched.  Moved it to under the center of the hive.

With all the brood in there, this hive looks set to explode.  I guess I’d better start wiring up some more frames!