May 24, 2012

Mid May Inspection

The second inspection of my hive -
I accomplished all that I wished to do from my previous inspection

Which was:
  • find the queen
  • try out my new stand
  • take better photos

Observations: 7 top bars with comb, 6 combs of mostly brood, 3 bars not yet drawn. The smallest comb, furthest away from the entrance, looks to be filling up with nectar and pollen. Queen has a good brood pattern. Opened 2nd entrance hole to hive. Moved the 3rd bar of comb in between the first two. It was a bit wavy and even though the rest of the comb after the 3rd was straight - I wanted to see if they would fix it or leave it the way it was.

View from the end of the hive, opposite side of the entrance
Last smallest comb looks to be filling up with just nectar and honey, no eggs visible at all. Which means that from here on out (hopefully) the combs will be strictly honey combs.
Check out the pollen basket on that bee (top middle)! Right below her is a worker bee relieving a forager bee of her nectar (they look like they're kissing).
If you're going to have a Top Bar Hive, I highly suggest making yourself a Stand. It made photo ops super easy!!
The photo above is the first bar in the hive, closest to the entrance. It has the most comb and it even has a bit more room to grow. The first bar of comb was also where my queen was.

Can you find her? Who thought a bug could be so pretty and mysterious!
While working in the hive I start at the end of my hive, which is the side farthest away from the entrance.  I have two follower boards on each side of the hive itself (the middle part, where the bees are). If that sounds confusing this may help- Bee Installation. Upon removing the follower board, there are a couple of bars that haven't been drawn out yet. Therefore, I can just remove those to get a look into the hive body and see where they start drawing out their comb. If I wanted to I could start on the opposite side where the beginning of the brood nest is, but that causes a bit more of a disruption (since there are much more bees there).
Bees adding some random comb to the follower board at the front of the hive
Put my new corks in - a bit more durable than little bundles of newspaper
Apparently size 13 corks aren't that popular. None of the big box stores had corks to fit the 1" holes. Therefore, I had to order them online. This site had them for less than others: Tapered Corks

The photos below represent the main reason to go into a hive between 10 and 2pm. During the middle of the day most of the bees are out foraging. See the difference?
Taken at 1 pm                             Taken around 6:30 pm