Wednesday, June 24, 2015

BEEHIVE CHECKUP DAY


This past weekend, while trying to dodge the rain, was beehive checking day.  I figured that this time, I'd make sure I used the beesuit since they haven't been messed with very much this rainy season.  I gathered up all the tools I'd need...


...including my smoker.  It's the first time I got to use it.  It will never be this clean and pristine again, ha.  I got it working, after several attempts but didn't end up using it for very long.  The ladies were pretty docile.


As I approached the hives, they looked good.  It is said that a clean hive is a good hive.  No dead bees on the ground, bees coming and going, and clean landing boards, those are good signs.  Happy bees keep their hives clean.

When I took the roof off, the upper super, which will be the honey super, had bees but not much activity.  There is a queen excluder between the two, the purpose is to keep eggs from being laid in the honey stores.  However, our rains have also delayed their progress this first season. 


The lower box, or "brood box", was bustling with activity.  Lots of comb being made and bees doing everything they should be doing.  I wanted to look a bit closer by pulling the frame out but...


...I've read that the less interference the better, at least in the beginning so I opted not to pull frames.  I did get this closeup to show the honeycomb they've made and they are busy working through all of the frames.
Bees and honey
As I pulled up the excluder, I broke off a piece of honeycomb and, imagine this, some honey dripped out, ha.  It only took a few seconds for the ladies to get to it and started taking care of things.  I had to get a picture of that!  

Overall, I think things are going well.  The rains have slowed them down but they seem happy.  There was a lot of pollen going in, a good sign, and no indication of mites on the mite board so that's good as well.  The last thing I read is to just listen to your hives.  If you lean over and listen and it sounds like a smooth running (and humming) engine, good things are happening.

So far, the adventure in beekeeping is going great!

10 comments:

jaz@octoberfarm said...

great news! i was worried about them with all the rain.

Colleen said...

I was just thinking about your bees this morning, :} wondering how they where doing from the rains you had down your way.
Good 2 C that all is well and that they are in the process of making the honey.
Happy little bees makes for happy bee keeper :}
Have an enjoyable week

donna baker said...

Oh Ray the Brave. All looks good, but still scares me. Got bit by a red wasp recently and nearly lost a toe from it. I finally got a bug zapper, but would never zap a bee.

Sandy said...

1st Man,
Nice pictures of your hives, and it's very obvious things are working good!!!
Our rain has left until this weekend. I hope things dry out for you.
Hugs,
Sandy

Texas Rose said...

I’m so happy that your bees are happy! I was concerned with all the rain we’ve had. I love your bee pictures. You’re doing a great job as Beekeeper!

kymber said...

oh i love that i get to learn more about bee-keeping by these posts - keep them coming! and from everything i have read from the bee expert (Pioneer Preppy) - bee-keeping is about learning what the hive is doing...and so hearing a happy hum should mean that everything is AOK! sending much love to both of you! your friend,
kymber

Anonymous said...

These bee update posts are always so exciting. Is it weird to be enjoying bee *parenthood* vicariously? If so, color me weird. ;-D

Bees are such amazing little powerhouses of industry. Hopefully, with you and like-minded people keeping bees we will be able to avert the disaster of a bee shortage. Your ladies (our nieces and nephews!) look happy and well. Praying this trend continues and you are blessed with many little honeybee babies. To paraphrase . . . *May your hives grow and prosper*

jaime

Gail said...

I am so glad they are settled in and doing what they do so wonderfully.

Elephant's Child said...

Just wonderful.
I hope you at least tasted a tiny bit of that honey.

Lindsey Lewandowski said...

I'd love to do this, but being around so many bees is quite terrifying to me.