June 07, 2008

Day 9: Our first real look inside the hive

This is their first comb, built closest to the false back.
BTW, the hive is level. It's me that's off-kilter. #MdDS
The bees built the first combs as far back as they could. We're not entirely sure it's a problem, but we want to make sure there's plenty of room for honey stores – to ensure winter survival – which means moving the cluster toward the front of the hive.

We found 8 empty bars (no comb or bees hanging off of them) up front, and simply switched them with the 8 bars with combs and bees on them. There was very little resistance either from the bees or the presence of propolis (bee caulking).

BackyardHive told us to move the false back all the way to the back, but we decided to keep the "hollow" size the same for now. This way the bees' house is the same, just the furniture got moved around.

We did pull the false back out, though, just to check for brood. We're not sure why this comb is filled with nectar (the shiny stuff) and pollen? (the darker areas), but we're guessing that the bees decided they need lots of nectar for now while they're constructing new comb. The bees are behaving as if they're queen-right, so it could just be that the brood is on the other side or, more likely, in the next comb.


Unknown said...

Just got our first hive on May 4th, got them hived no problem. Day 3 took the queen box out. Gave them 3 pts. 1:1 Sugar, gone in a week. 3 more pints. Almost gone today. Going to inspect for brood, eggs, ect this weekend. Built the Top Bar hive myself, with looking window, lots of comb on 7 or so bars. Bee are coming in loaded with pollen. Looking forward to seeing what it looks like inside. Would take any and all ideas or suggestions. Thanx Dave

HB said...

Am jealous of the experience you will have, going in that first time, David! It sounds like you are doing all the right things and the bees' progress is good. The only thing I would caution you about, is the delicacy of new comb. White comb can be quite soft. Our sun is so strong here, I like to work in the shadows so as to not melt the comb and dessicate the eggs/larvae. Good Luck!

Unknown said...

Thanx HB, gonna be quick. . .hopefully. Will take some pics and let you know how it goes. You Near Denver? Im in Lakewood, right next to Bear Creek greenbelt.

HB said...

@David Henry Nice area you are in. We looked there when we first moved to the metro... should be good for bees (as long as the wind behaves). We are across town, a stones throw from the Theater.

Unknown said...

Hey HB, new to this blog thing. How do I put pics on this site. Hive inspection went great. Have them on youtube zzz1620 is my site. Not sure how to share it with blog. Thanx

HB said...

@David Henry. Your nice fat queen is the beauty shot in my tumblr feed below. Thanks for sending the pics.

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