Sunday, May 1, 2011

Honeybee Checkup

I checked on the honeybee colonies today and was happy to see all the work they had been completing.  I checked on Colony #1 first.  I removed the lid to the hive box and then the upper cover.  I noticed that the bees were creating honeycomb on the bottom side of the upper cover.  I read that bees will create this "crazy comb" on dead spaces, but if I remove the comb time after time, eventually they will stop building it there and stay to the trays.
Here is the "crazy comb" on the inside of the upper cover.

The bees have only been in the hive for two weeks, but you can already see them filling up the comb with honey.
After I scraped off the "crazy comb", which didn't seem to bother the bees that much, I smoked the bee box and let the bees settle down.  I lifted out the middle tray, which was quite heavy as it was full of comb and honey.  I was surprised that the bees hadn't filled up more of the trays, but I'm in rush.  I bet by the time I check in with the bees next week they will have filled in their first box, called a super.

The second colony has been in their hive box for one week now and they are busy as ever building comb.  I feed both colonies a simple sugar syrup which helps the little pollinators to create their wax glands.  Once they have their glands up and running, they can create they comb and the queen can lay her eggs in the comb.  I have to feed them for 4-6 weeks; at this point, they are going through about a gallon each a week.

Here is the second colony.  You can see the entrance feeder with the sugar solution, which they are sucking down like it's going out of style.  You can also see the bees clustering in the middle three or four trays.  They move outward filling the trays with comb and honey and when they fill them all, I add another bee box (super) above that and they do it all over again.

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