Category Archives: Hive Inspections

A guest helper in the bee yard

This past weekend I was lucky enough to have some new help in the bee yard! My sister-in-law who is visiting was brave enough to suit up and take notes for me during our hive inspections. She did an outstanding job! As usual, Queen Beeyonce made an appearance, and when I asked my sister-in-law if she wanted to see the queen up close: “Pay your respect to Her Majesty!” Beeyonce (and I) do NOT take no for an answer! 😉 ~E


As the hives grow and things start happening,  I’m really glad we started off on the right foot and have been taking good notes.  Well…let me rephrase that, Rob is the note-taker while I dictate what I’m observing as I inspect each frame. This joint team effort is really paying off as you can see: Here, he’s recorded a frame-by-frame (“F1, F2” etc) description of brood pattern (whether it’s eggs, larvae, capped, or not), and how much pollen and nectar

Are my bees drunk?

Because why else would they be building comb like this: And this: These are frames from the second hive body on Hive 2 (the strong one). Why would they all of a sudden start building wonky comb, when previously they were drawing nice bee keeper-friendly comb within the frame foundations? This is burr comb, or in this case, bridge comb, because it is comb drawn perpendicular to the frames, and actually forms a bridge joining two adjacent frames.  I did what

Two steps forward, one step back…

So, remember a couple posts back where I said we added a second brood box to hive 1? Well this past weekend during our inspection, we decided to backtrack and remove it. It had been in place for 4 days and there was absolutely no activity on it. Our strong hive (hive 2) already had 4 frames being drawn and eggs being laid in the same amount of time after adding the second brood box on it, so we knew

Delving into the hive life

A week ago (3 weeks after installation), hive 2 had drawn out about 75% of the frames, which is the point at which most beekeepers add a second brood chamber. If you fail to give the queen enough room to lay eggs, the colony may decide to swarm and leave the hive. To avoid this, we added a second brood chamber above the first. To our surprise, after only 1 week with the second story, this past weekend’s inspection revealed 4

Hive Personalities

Just over 2 weeks into our beekeeping adventures, and already each Hive has been developing its own personality. We had plans to name the hives something witty but so far are just calling them Hive 1 and 2.  Anyway…during this weekends inspection, we observed that Hive 2 is about double the population of Hive 1. The bees had drawn out more than 6 of the eight frames with wax, 2 frames of which are now “sealed brood”. This means that

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 😉 ), 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

Getting used to the new digs

After spending the first night in their new home, there was plenty of action going on in the apiary the next day. At first I was a little concerned with it, were they still agitated from the hiving, were they robbing, or something else? Then I remembered reading about this. My guess is that they were doing their orientation flights! Makes sense, since they were shipped in a small box from god-knows-where, and unceremoniously dumped into a strange hive on