It’s Saturday here, and it’s broiling outside. Wrapped in my protective bee jacket and full gloves makes inspecting bees a pretty sweaty endeavor. But… that being said, last weeks inspection left me with a bit of uncertainty about the future of the hives, so back into the boxes I went.
It can be a little alarming opening the bee boxes. The fingers of my gloves don’t really allow me the finesse to pull out the frames, so I end up jolting the bees, which in turn sends them into the air and swarming around my head. But I’ve taken a lot of stings to the outside of my gloves, so I’m not quite ready to forego them.
In yellow hive, I saw no queen, no evidence of queen (oh dear) and at this point the hive swarmed four weeks ago, so I’m pretty sure they’re getting antsy for a queen. I stole a frame of bee eggs from my split hive (the red box) and added it in. Fingers crossed they’ll right themselves soon. Otherwise they’re doomed and I’ll have to combine them with another hive.
As far as red hive is concerned, they look great. The bees are busy building comb, and while I haven’t seen the queen, there’s plenty of evidence that she’s in there. Two full frames of baby bees, plus two more with bee eggs. *I stole one for yellow hive, so make that one.
In blue hive, I saw the queen. Pretty surprising because I just had a swarm out of that hive a week ago. No sign of larvae or eggs, but definitely saw the queen, so lets just hope she gets mated soon and gets right to work.
Green hive, it looks a little troubling. No sign of brood nor larvae, but there’s a sealed queen cup, so for now the action plan is to let them be(e).
And finally, as for our captured swarm, currently residing in an old nuc box* pressed into service, the bees are building comb. I saw the queen, so I’m happy at least that she’s in there. Stubborn Boy found an Amish farmer who lives nearby and sells bee equipment. He picked up another hive from the fellow, so it looks like I’ll be back in the bee yard tomorrow morning installing the new hive. I’m thinking the newbees will from hereout be called orange hive…
*A nuc box (pronounced like nuke) is a box with a tiny 1″ circular opening and a fitted lid. When I first started keeping I had the choice of buying a package of bees or a nuc box, which is like a tiny established community with an already laying queen. Since the prices are only nominally different, I opted for nuc’s to give my bees a jump start.