Friday, May 15, 2015

First Full Inspection: 2015-05-13

The 2015 Beekeeping season is now officially in full swing!  I've done my first complete inspection of both hives and things are looking good so far.

White and Green Hives.  Life long buddies.

White Hive:

Upon opening the hive up, the first thing I found was that instead of hanging out in the middle of the hive, they've chosen one side over the other.  It must smell better over there or maybe there was more honey and pollen left on those frames from last year?

The Left side is where the cool kids hang out
Anyway, it made it easy to figure out which side to start my inspection on.  So I pulled out the frames on the empty side and quickly worked my way toward the middle.  On frame 6 I found a nice frame of fresh, colorful pollen.


Some pretty typical orange and yellow colors for this time of year.  I was hoping that the bees would have a chance of gathering some steel blue colored pollen from the Siberian Squill I planted but the blooms were already spent by the time the bees arrived.  Maybe next year.

Moving on to frame 7 I spotted the first frame of capped brood.

Future baby bees

It has only been about 14 days since the bees were installed and usually it takes a few days for the queen to be released from her cage, and then maybe a few more days before she even starts laying eggs.  The eggs hatch into larvae and then the cell is sealed on day 9.  So, I'm guessing these cells have only been capped for a few days at most.  If that means the eggs were laid 12 days ago, then in 9 more days they will start hatching.  Then we'll get to see what this queen's genetics are going to look like.  This hive has been a bit more "touchy" than the Green Hive so far.  Hopefully when the new bees take over they will have a little calmer disposition.

Green Hive:

I love the look of new comb on foundationless frames!  Green Hive did not disappoint me either.

New comb being formed
It is fascinating to watch as the bees drawn down a sheet of hexagons on the frame.  The new wax is a nice pale yellow color and it is just waiting to store something!

Well, this queen has been filling the frames with brood.

Pretty solid brood
Sometimes new queen have a very spotty brood pattern when they first start.  This frame looks pretty good to me.  You can also see that there is a cluster of drone brood along the bottom of this frame.  Right before I took this picture the bees were doing there job, covering the frame and keeping the brood warm.  If you blow on them, they don't like it and they move out of the way rather quickly.  I think it has something to do with the CO2 that we exhale.

A few frames over I was able to grab a nice close up of the developing larva.

"C" shaped larva
Notice the different sizes of the larva.  The queen usually lays her eggs in a circular spiral pattern.  So the larva in the center of the frame are bigger (older) and the ones toward the outside edge are smaller.  If you zoom in really close on this photo you can even see the eggs to the right of the smallest larva.

I'm really glad to see both hives getting off to a really good start so far in 2015!

Next Steps:

I have completed my solar Arduino setup and I plan on deploying that again soon.  I also plan on taking some of the remaining honey frames from the hive that died this past winter and feeding it back to the bees.

Until next time, thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mark! Great looking bees. I know what you mean about loving the look of new comb on those frames. Mine look just the same. I am itching to get into the hives for another look around.