|Inspecting the hive today!|
Today we did a hive inspection to just make sure everything was ok. I have noticed a decreased amount of activity in the hive this week and wondered what was going on. The weather has been rainy and chilly and very gusty this week. I thought part of the reason they were not very active could have been weather related. But I was surprised by what I found, or rather, what I did not find in the hive when we opened it up.
|My partner and I all suited up ready to handle some bees.|
When we too the top off the hive the first thing we noticed was an undertaker bee doing it's best to haul out a dead carcass. I have seen this plenty of times before, but I have never captured it on camera!
|Undertaker bee carrying a dead bee out of the hive.|
|Undertaker bee climbing out of the hive with a dead bee.|
|Undertaker bee disposing of the body of a dead bee.|
|Pristine but empty bar of comb.|
|Pulling out bars of comb full of capped brood.|
|Capped brood next to empty brood cells. The bees were busy cleaning out the unused cells and tending to the bees pushing their way out of the was caps.|
|Here you can see the face of a bee popping through the wax cap. The new bees that just hatch will go on to bee nurse bees, taking care of the larvae for the first few days of it's life.|
|We found quite a few cells filled with larvae.|
|The central brood cells were very empty. We could see the population of the hive had doubled and there were still capped and uncapped brood surrounding these open cells.|
|Some capped brood next to some empty cells.|
|Here are a couple bees chaining or measuring as we pulled the comb out of the hive.|
|The blurry bee near the top center of the photo was the one doing the bee dance. She was in the middle of a serious waggle when I took the photo.|
|Honey bee from my hive gathering some nectar from the clover flower in my yard.|
|One of the honey bees from my hive enjoying the borage I planted for them!|
Here is where it gets interesting. The second to last frame we pull out of the hive has a queen cell that has hatched! It looks like something happened to our queen within the past 10 days or so and they made a new one. We did not spot a queen bee at all, so we are not sure if it was successful or not. The new queen could be out on her mating flight, but we are just not sure. We are going to go back into the hive in 2 days and see if we can spot the queen or at least evidence that she is there. I had a feeling something wasn't quite right with the hive this past week and my suspicions were correct. The hive looks otherwise healthy and growing. I would like to see more comb built, more eggs and brood in the empty cells and of course to spot the queen! If we do not see the queen when we next inspect, I will have to requeen the hive.
|This bar of comb has empty cells, capped cells with brood and the long wax cone coming down on the right side of the photo is a hatched queen cell.|
|Queen cell on a frame.|
We entered the hive around 1pm this afternoon. It was 68 degrees, sunny with clouds in the sky and slightly gusty.
I was concerned for the health of the hive since I noticed a decline in activity this past week. Every frame but the first contained empty brood cells in the center, surrounded by capped brood (no drone cells) and out from that uncapped larvae and honey. The newest white comb did not contain anything in it.
It looked like the hive doubled in size from the last inspection.
We did not find the queen anywhere. But we did find a queen cell that had recently hatched. It looks like the old queen died and they made a new one.
We will check on the hive and specifically look for the queen in 2 days. If no queen is found, we will requeen the hive as soon as possible.
|The bees are continually expanding their comb.|