Meeting Her Majesty the Queen! (1st inspection)

Busy weekend, lots to talk about! Between running a 4 mile race, attending a¬†friend’s baby shower (which had bee-themed favors btw ūüėČ ), a neighborhood picnic, and putting in more of the vegetable garden, we found time to do our first full hive inspections one week after the installation.

Suffice to say that everything looked pretty ok, with the exception of a lot of unwanted “burr comb” in the now empty feeder. Those hungry bees went through almost a gallon of sugar syrup in a week!

This build-up of burr comb is NOT what you want to see in the feeder.

This build-up of burr comb is NOT what you want to see in the feeder.

The burr comb is beautiful, pristine white color. Unfortunately I had to scrape it all off with my hive tool. We want the bees to build wax comb on the frames, not here!  Once I set aside the hive-top feeder and removed the inner cover, I was greeted by a lot of busy builder bees hard at work drawing out the comb on the foundation.

Good bees! Build comb on the frames like this!

Good bees! Build comb on the frames like this!

 

You can see how they've drawn out the comb to create deep cells where they will store honey, pollen, and brood.

You can see how they’ve drawn out the comb to create deep cells where they will store honey, pollen, and brood.

The goal of this first inspection is to confirm the queen was released from her cage (she was), and to check for eggs and or developing larvae.  If the queen is not laying eggs, the entire colony is doomed as the worker bee lifespan is only 60 days.  I went through frame-by-frame, looking for evidence of a laying queen.

Inspecting a frame. Looking for stored food, eggs, and maybe a glimpse of the queen.

Inspecting a frame. Looking for stored food, eggs, and maybe a glimpse of the queen.

Everything looked good!  I saw eggs, small larvae, stores of pollen, syrup, and in Hive 2 I even spotted the queen!  Can you spot her?:

Meeting Her Majesty for the first time!

Meeting Her Majesty for the first time!

Here’s a close-up:

Her Majesty the Queen

Her Majesty the Queen

It was so thrilling to see her! She’s a beauty! While I did not see the queen of Hive 1, I can tell she’s been there because I did see newly laid eggs. After re-filling the feeders with fresh sugar syrup, it was time to close up the hives and let the girls get back to work.¬† In about 2 1/2 weeks, we will be welcoming our first brood of¬†bouncing baby bees!

I’ll leave you with a gorgeous video Rob shot of a bee gathering nectar from a clover flower in our back yard.

Until next time!

E

One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *