June 29, 2013 – Inspection (Day 50)
The afternoon was gorgeous, warm (high 80s) with a nice breeze, bright and sunny. I lit the smoker with pine needles. They burned easily and gave off a nice cool thick white smoke. Then I pulled out the tools and geared up. It was 4PM, their most active time of day. I hoped they’d be too busy to pay attention to me.
Green Hive 1 (GH1)
The feeder was empty and I could see the chopsticks worked well, allowing room for movement beneath the pail. I opened the inner cover and saw a moth amidst the bees. Pests are never a welcome sight, although I didn’t see anything else that looked problematic. Another item to monitor and research.
We added a third brood box last week. Few bees were in the top box and one or two center frames contained the start of some drawn comb. They were slow to start on the new foundation before, then within two days they’d practically drawn the lot. You just never know. I’ll spray the frames with sugar syrup and Honey B Healthy, which will permeate the hive with minty, lemon balm aromatherapy and make those frames super tasty. That should pull them up and get them going.
I pulled a frame from the second box and low and behold, I saw eggs. That’s right, I saw eggs! Not a figment of my imagination. I had to look hard, but definitely across the bottom rows. Rice shaped white specs. Note, I wore contacts rather than glasses and the sun was behind me. A beautiful site indeed! I flipped the frame to find rows of fat white larvae nestled in the cells. The bees are numerous and continuing to reproduce. Yay! GH1is good to go! Moving on…
Yellow Hive 2 (YH2)
YH2 was on it’s good behavior. I think the girls and I are back on good terms after last week’s incident. The feeder was completely empty. Both hives are still feeding like crazy. I pulled off the inner cover and found, setting on top of the frames, small propylis covered pebbles and a dark brown papery looking cocoon with an entrance/exit hole. I don’t like the looks of it and wonder if it may be related to the moth I’d seen earlier in the other hive. I’ll take both items to my bee meeting this week for show and tell in hopes of getting some answers.
The new super we added last week is full of bees and the center 2 or 3 frames are being drawn out nicely. They’re a bit farther along than GH1’s new box.
I moved down to the top brood box and found nectar and pollen, but saw no eggs. Still very crowded with bees. I pulled the first frame from the center brood box and noticed some drone cells along the bottom. My eyes followed upward across some nice capped brood then skimmed over a big red dot. Whoa, there she was, her majesty and highness, the queen of the hive marked with an unmistakable red dot, right there looking at me as if to say “Do you mind? I’m trying to work here”.
Enough said. I carefully tucked her frame back into the box and closed up. My work was done – the girls are still rockin their hives.