Monday, May 23, 2011

Bees are A-O.K.

Here in the Northeastern United States we have been having day after day of rain and more rain.  It has made it very difficult to get out and check the bees.  Finally, on Sunday, I was able to get out and do a thorough inspection to see what the girls are doing.  They are all doing very well!  There was LOTs of capped brood, larvae, and eggs.

I found that some of the hives could have done a better job of pulling out the comb in them, but this year I'm kind of going with it. ( I will take pictures in two weeks when I go to check the bees.  My camera batteries died after one photo).  In the past I was told that I should scrape off any comb that is not pulled out perfectly - and in the past I've always done this.  I've wondered if this puts the hive behind some, so this year, in the brood boxes (the two big boxes you can see on the hive pictures below), I'm giving the bees a break.  The brood boxes are where the bee eggs are laid and the babies are formed.  Later, you'll see some honey supers on top of these boxes.

The honey supers are a shallower box and the honeycomb has to be formed correctly so that the extractor can take out the honey.  But I'll only be scraping off honey and beeswax when I clean these.  I won't be scraping off any brood!

When I went to check the hives, my biggest worry was about the hive that the bear pulled over a few days ago.  He hasn't been back (that I know of), but I was concerned that the queen could have been killed in the tip over of the box.  She wasn't!  Not only did I find eggs and fresh larva, I actually saw her big beautiful body!

I hoped you would be able to see all  the bees flying in and out, but it didn't show up as well as I'd hoped.  These hives were busy!

Don't forget to go to the Barn Hop at Homestead Revival!


  1. Thanks for sharing Sharon --- this is my first year with a hive......and we have bear right around here. I do believe I need to secure the hive better!

  2. A bear destroyed 8 of our hives the very first year. We have a three mile solar fence on about 75 feet of wire. Hopefully it'll be enough to deter them!

  3. If I have poorly drawn comb with any significant amount of worker brood in it, I'll separate it from the queen with a queen excluder for 3 weeks (a brood cycle) so no more eggs get laid in it, and then I'll cut it out after there's no more brood to sacrifice.