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First Hive Inspection

Posted by Edymnion z7 (My Page) on
Thu, May 30, 13 at 16:51

Okay, its been almost a week since I installed my package, and I just finished my first hive inspection.

At first glance, there was lots of drawn out comb, including some where it was drawing out into little bridges between frames (which were in the area where the queen's cage was, so I assume they were building around that originally). The frames were nice and heavy, and a lot of the comb was full of the sugar syrup I've been feeding them, so they obviously find it to be suitable enough.

Also spotted quite a few uncapped cells with what I presume is pollen in them. Quite dark looking material at any rate, can't imagine anything else bees would be storing in there but pollen.

Was at least 3-4 frames double sided that had been filled out, and two more that were being worked on one side, so it looks like they've been busy little bees this past week.

What I did not see was the queen. She was alive and well when I installed the package, and she had escaped the cage, so I assume she's alive and well in there and that I just didn't spot her. Seeing as how I'm new at this, I probably would have had a hard time picking her out of all that anyway.

All that said, it looks like they're doing quite well. It had a nice low hum, and I did the entire inspection without smoke or protective gear and did not get stung, everybody was quite mellow.

This post was edited by Edymnion on Thu, May 30, 13 at 17:14

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: First Hive Inspection

Great,..looking good, pollen store should be a bit of a indicator with the queen alive.
She should be laying at any day now or there might be some eggs. I would check in another week and you should be seeing brood.

RE: First Hive Inspection

Yeah, my napkin math tells me that there is likely nothing for me to see brood wise yet.

They went in last Friday. Would have taken them at least a day or two to free her, probably a day or two before they had drawn out enough comb for her to start laying, and 3 days for the eggs to even hatch.

Given that it had only been 6 days, its entirely possible that there were small white eggs in small white combs covered in crawling bees. Aka, damned near impossible to actually see in the first place.

Next week's inspection will be 14 days, which will be more than enough time for the first brood to be capped off and make it a little more obvious.

RE: First Hive Inspection

And I just went out to check their feeder, lingered for a few minutes watching some ants crawling around near the hive, and ended up with a solitary bee trying desperately to sting the seam of my shirt.

If they're defending the hive, thats a good sign.

RE: First Hive Inspection

Was going to wait until Friday to check on them again, but its supposed to be stormy again here in a couple days, so I figured I'd try them again today.

Night and day difference compared to last Thursday.

This time around I saw plenty of capped syrup cells (can't really call those honey cells), but more importantly I could see single spots in the center of vast swaths of cells which could only have been eggs or very small larva (still hard for my newb eyes to tell the difference when looking in pristine snow white wax cells), and what looked to me to be several emergency queen cells.

If they are preparing backup cells, or even if they're getting ready to supersede the package queen, thats fine by me. Let them have a queen they're happy with instead of one they simply tolerate.

Important thing is I most definitely have a successful install. Which this late in the season I will admit to being a little anxious over, because if something happened it was highly unlikely I'd be able to find replacements.

But, no worries, all is good.

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