May 18, 2014

I guess I'm a beekeeper: Inspection #1

Today, Beerman, Cman, Harry and I got in the minivan and headed north to see Grandma, Amelia, and Beatrix. I lit my smoker for the very first time, and started on my merry way, first with Amelia, and then on to Beatrix.

The whole point of this inspection is to make sure the queen is out of her queen cage and to see if she's laying eggs. I opened up Amelia's hive, and immediately saw a huge burr comb already built around the queen cage. (It's a great thing for Cman to take to school tomorrow to show off.) She was out!

When I lifted the frames out, it was amazing how busy the hive had been, building out the honeycomb. It took me some time, but I did finally find Amelia. I didn't see any eggs, but that doesn't mean much - they're less than the size of rice, and underneath this giant ball of bees. I thought it best to assume she's doing okay vs risking flipping her around by brushing them off to see if I could actually see any eggs.

Then I moved on to Beatrix's hive. Immediately upon opening, I noticed strings of bees working together, building wax. The frames weren't as drawn out as the first hive, but it's clear they're working hard. I did not find Beatrix, but again, I'm not very adept at this so I am going to assume that since the bees are happily working in the hives, that she is in there.

The sugar syrup wasn't really eaten, but the pollen patties are a hit. I also noticed some bees with giant legs full of yellow pollen - so it seems they're getting some from something that's blooming nearby. I'll continue with the pollen patties for a few more weeks until things are really well established, though.

I know they're just bugs, but I really think that I could sit and watch these ladies buzz around for hours. Until next weekend...

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