First Look at Bees

We opened the hive that we put the swarm of bees that we captured in. This was almost two weeks after we had captured them. The bees were rather docile and well behaved and were quite easy to work. That was nice since this was a learning experience for both Kallie and I.

First we smoked the hive through the bottom screen board and then lifted the top and blew a little smoke in there. Then we set to opening the hive. It was rather easy to open and remove frames. It seems our bees have been too busy building comb to worry about propolizing the hive together.

The main lesson we learned that we can share with you is once you spot the queen, never ever EVER move the frame she is on anywhere other than directly above the hive. Kallie spotted the queen and I quickly moved in to try and mark her back with a marker so that we could spot her more easily later on. My marking job was less than stellar and I marked more of her wings than her back. She got upset and let go of the frame and fell, right onto the ground at our feet. WE DROPPED THE QUEEN ON THE GROUND AND COULDN’T FIND HER!!! Kallie eventually found her and after a few attempts was able to pick her up and put her back in the hive, but that was scary.  So always keep the frame with the queen above the hive in case she wants to fall off.

Check out the comments in the pictures below to understand what is going on. Lastly, we got a call of another swarm the same day and went to go capture it. The swarm was huge and very easy to  capture. We will open both hives again in about two weeks to check on them again. I suspect that we will have to add another deep framed box on top of our first hive in a few weeks, hopefully.

 

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The top of this photo shows capped sugar water that the bees are saving as food for later. The dark orange looking stuff in some of the cells is pollen the bees are saving to feed to the brood (babies). The white C shaped things in some of the cells are the baby larvae that in another 1-2 weeks will be new bees.

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The top half is capped sugar water and then lots of pollen in the middle.

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Bees are slowly drawing out the comb on a plastic foundation. 

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This was one of the outer frames. The bees naturally started on the wax foundation first but had no problem drawing comb out on the plastic foundation too.

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One of the wax foundation frames had big holes in it. Other beekeepers said they do this for two reasons. Small holes are shortcuts through the hive. Large ones like this are the bees stealing wax to use build comb in other parts of the hive.  Either way it is not harmful.

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3 thoughts on “First Look at Bees

  1. Pingback: First Look at Bees | Homesteading for Two – WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

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