This past weekend we inspected all seven of our honeybee hives. We were lucky enough to be joined by beekeeper Martin who is an expert at smoking the honeybees and keeping them calm. All of the hives were healthy and doing well. Two of them had large honey stores already which made us very happy to see. All of the honeybee queens are laying eggs and helping to build up the hive for the summer.
This frame was covered in bees, can you spot the queen? She acts like a bulldozer, plowing her way through the crowd to get to the cells where she wants to lay her eggs. Good queens are said to lay eggs very close together, this makes the brood not spotty. Here she is highlighted in the picture below. (click on picture for a larger view-c’mon, it’ll be like Where’s Waldo?!) I also got a picture of the top of our hive. This is an inner cover with an opening on the top of it for honeybees to fly out. Not all beekeepers use this in their honeybee hives. During very hot days, we take the top cover off our hives and leave this inner cover on, to reduce the heat in the hive and allow the honeybees another entrance/exit. Only healthy hives that can defend themselves well should have multiple entrances though. We left a frame out of a couple of the hives that we put new queens into. We left the queens in the queen cages and just stuck the cage in between two frames to hold it into place. The queens were released from the cages this past week and accepted into the hives. When inspecting the honeybee hives this weekend, we saw that the bees had made their own natural comb where there should have been a frame. When beekeeper Tim took the lid off of this hive, he pulled out the honey comb and I was able to snap a picture.
That sums up this week’s inspection. Stay tuned for our next honeybee hive inspection. I’m also working on getting us set up on all social media websites so you can stay on top of honeybee news, pictures and what’s going on in our backyard.