Monday, April 23, 2007

Inside the hives

Now that both hives seem to be thriving, I decided to conduct an inspection this evening to see how they are doing. While both hives are in generally good shape, I did encounter some difficulties that needed some attention.

In the hive that I installed on Saturday, I had left the queen box on top of the frames, and an empty medium hive box on the top as a spacer. When I opened the top of that hive, fully half the bees had congregated on top of the frames, and they had started building a couple of combs from the top of the inner cover. I knocked those combs off and brushed the bees down onto the top of the frames.

The queen box had been entered, and I didn't see her inside, so my assumption is that she is free inside the hive. Even so, I stuck the box in between two of the frames, hoping that would encourage the bees to go down into the frames. I also replaced the medium box with a two-inch spacer so the bees would not have some much room to gather at the top.

I was encouraged by the fact that the bees that flew out of the top of the hive had made their way back to the front of the hive by the time I had finished.

After closing that hive, I opened the other one to search for the queen. These bees are working away as they should. The outside frames did not have much comb on them, but the inside frames are getting pretty heavy. I looked through all of the frames in the top box, but by the time I had finished, the bees seemed to be getting restless, and I did not have the confidence to continue. I will do that in a couple of days.

Besides, during that inspection, I "suffered" my first bee sting. One of them got me through the sock, so now I have a big red welt on my leg just above my foot. Something to be proud of.

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