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!