Sunday, August 2, 2009


I carried out a hive inspection this morning as the weather was unusually fine and there were lots of bees flying. I also knew that I would certainly need to refill the feeder with syrup.

The bees were well-tempered and my increasing ability to keep the smoker producing lots of smoke is clearly helping. They had drawn fresh comb on the recently added frames. It still amazes me how they do this.

For the first time, I was able to positively identify plenty of eggs although I never actually saw the Queen. From the presence of eggs, she was there within the last 3 days so I'm happy with that. There was lots of capped honey, sealed and unsealed brood, a few drone cells (significantly higher cappings) and the odd drone too. I will try to get hold of some queen-marking paint so I can re-mark the Queen to make her easier to spot.

There was less visible stored pollen than last week although that is possibly due to the weather of late and the fact that it's being used to feed all the new brood the bees are rearing. Fresh pollen (protein) was being brought in by the foragers during the morning so I am not too worried but it depends on the weather for next week. I need to check what I should use as an emergency supplement. The syrup I think only replaces the nectar (carbohydrates). Brace comb is fairly prevalent although I am putting that down to the mix and match frames which came with the nucleus and which didn't match my own exactly.

Elva was stung through her rubber gloves so that was her initiation. No nasty reaction so that was a relief! Her gloves are a bit on the large side so I think that's making her frame manipulations a bit on the bumpy side.

I forgot the camera which was a shame as I would have got some interesting photos of the bees lined up like soldiers on parade along the top bars as they tucked into the stored honey. I also want to see how well the photos look on the blog.

Generally, despite Elva's wee incident, the bees were well-tempered although I have realised that I have to keep my voice down as the vibration from my normal speaking voice seems to upset them slightly.

I have a couple more frame spaces left to fill the brood box before I can put on the first super.


Anna Bee said...

This is very exciting - can't wait for the next installment!
Suspect that todays weather is helping your hive - finally a glorious day.

We had a bumble bee luxuriating in an artichoke flower this morning, and the oregano was abuzz all day.

Pia said...

Hi Cliff,
I am so glad you told me about your blog! Hopefully, to make you feel better, we only ever seem to see our Queen on one inspection out of three, and if she wasnt marked, I am not sure I would ever spot her...
Are you hoping to get any honey? We have put our super on to see if the bees will draw the foundation out to speed things up for next year, and maybe (if the rain EVER stops) to see if we could get one frame we could uncap.