Yesterday evening we did our first full inspection in two weeks. We had two main objectives: make the sure the queen was laying eggs and make sure the comb was straight. Though we found a couple of surprises, all in all, we have a very successful report.
The bees were collectively in a really good mood. They didn’t seem to mind us snooping around. We calmed them with a little sugar water to start, but quickly realized it was unnecessary. They were too busy working to give us a lot of mind.
The capped brood is coming along nicely. We installed the package 18 days ago, so just a few more days before new bees will come out of their cells. It was fun to watch nurse bees climb into cells and feed larvae. We also got to watch some workers bring in pollen and deliver it.
Below is a great example of what we ran into. Nice brood comb on the bottom with some nectar and a little capped honey on the top, and lots of pollen cells. You can see the larvae, too.
Here is a close up of the larvae and capped brood:
The Queen was alive and well, although she was hanging out on the one pure honey comb we found. It was the eighth bar from the entrance. Not sure what she was doing there, but it is her domain. She can go where she wants! We noticed her blue mark is fading, which means we’ll have to identify her without any marking before too long. That’s a little intimidating.
There was some burr comb being built on the wall of the hive. It hadn’t gotten far yet, so it was an easy fix. We simply knocked it out with the hive tool. The bees didn’t seem to mind.
On the third comb from the entrance we found two layers of comb on the same top bar. Thankfully, the second layer was small and not causing any major problems. We simply removed the second layer with the hive tool. We will keep a close eye on this spot to make sure there are no lingering issues. Could be a spacing issue here. Not sure yet. We did add one more top bar at the the entrance to give the bees a little more room to build. There are now 13 bars. We started with 10.
To our surprise, there were two cells of capped honey on the small comb we cut off. We decided to have our first taste of Promised Land Honey. I am biased, but it was delicious. Can’t wait to try more than a drop!
Next inspection we hope to find more capped honey and, I hope, a growing population.