Tuesday, May 13, 2014

We Saw The Queen!

Her Majesty, Queen of Autumn's Apiary, was spotted today during our hive inspection. We were thrilled to see her and all of the work she has been doing, laying full frames of brood!

We spotted our queen today!
Just in case you couldn't see the giant bee...that is the queen!

 We installed a little bracket on our fence beside the hive to help us hold the top bars full of comb and bees. My partner helped with keeping track of the order of the bars and inspecting for brood.

One of the sections of  comb was fully capped brood! There was more larvae on the other sections as well, but these will all be bees soon!!

One bar of comb with capped brood!

Closeup of the capped brood with cells of honey.

The comb is getting larger and with the new additions coming soon, this hive will easily double in size within the next month. 
The hive is growing!

Awwwe.... aren't they just the cutest!

I saw quite a few drones this time. Can you see the difference in size? This drone hung out with me during the hive inspection. Bees continually amaze and inspire me.

The big bee with the large eyes is a drone! I was hoping to photograph one so those following my BEE FACTS can see the difference.

 Bee Observations:
 We wanted to make sure there was brood and if possible to see the queen. We also wanted to assess if we should put the next super on top of the hive.

It was 62 degrees and sunny when we entered the hive at 9:45 am. The bees were active and very busy tending to the hive and bringing in pollen. They did not seem to mind our inspection today. We took off the outer most empty bars to get to the comb. We carefully pulled out each bar, making sure to keep it level and transferred it to the holding area. We noticed one full frame of capped brood, and 4 other frames with larvae! They were all surrounded by uncapped honey, ready to feed the babies. The comb had grown another 2-3 inches on all sides and the bees expanded to the next bar. There were about 100 or so dead bees in the bottom of the hive. We are keeping the entrance small (reduced) until the hive gets a little bigger and can defend a bigger entrance. I did not see any evidence of disease or pests. These bees are healthy and were not aggravated by our entrance. As we were reassembling the hive, my partner spotted the queen. She was near some uncapped brood being followed by her entourage. She looked good and is doing a great job!

Little bee larvae!

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