2nd visit to the hives
Today it was pretty sunny and decently warm so I went to check on the queen activities…checking to see if both had started laying eggs.
I arrived around 1pm and checked hive 1 first. I worked from north to south in this hive, noting that the fourth frame in had started to have comb drawn upon it. I made it through the 5th frame (which my mentor had given me, with some honey in it- to help the bees get started) and I started getting worried cause I had not seen any eggs yet.
By this time I had a full audience with the neighbor next door and a couple of kids asking about how many bees were there. I don’t quite get why these folks think I have time to answer their questions while I’m holding a frame with a few thousand bees on it. Although I recognize this as a perfect learning opportunity for a kid, at this stage, I am not coordinated enough to give a lesson while amidst my beekeeping chores.
I continued to the 6th frame and voila…I finally saw some little white specs in the bottom right hand corner of the frame. Evidence of the queen, yes! I spent most of my time looking for these instead of the actual queen since it seems to be an easier task to find eggs than the queen (for me anyway).
During this visit I am realizing how much is going on at once in a beekeeper’s visit…holding hive tools, moving frames with them, picking up frames and gently picking each up and putting each back without disturbing the hive too much….and for me, remembering not to freak out because you are actually doing all this. I had to remove a bit of comb from the bottom of one of the frames, not sure what that is about…will ask Tim.
I closed hive 1 and moved on to #2. I worked south to north on this one, since I realized w/ hive 1, the sun would be behind me if I worked in this direction, making it easier to visualize the eggs.
Unfortunately, I did not see any eggs in this hive…but that doesn’t mean they weren’t there. They are really hard to see and the bees were covering pretty densely the two frames that I’d expect to see them on. This hive seemed a little more lively than the first and I noticed a chemical/banana smell partway thru my inspection. I think this is some pheromone they put off when feeling threatened..to signal to the others to attack. I reluctantly closed up the hive since I figured I was just pissing them off more and wasn’t seeing what I wanted to see. I will go back later this week to check this hive again.
After closing up the hives, I refilled the chicken watering device…it was practically empty- 2 gallons of water gone, since their install on tuesday.
I also removed their transport cages from sitting beside the hives, and the syrup cans that came with them, which were mostly empty.
The quart feeding jars I had in each hive were not noticeably empty, less than I expected to be gone. I did check to make sure the syrup was coming out ok and they were fine and I could see bees feeding from them, so I assume all is well there. Maybe the bees were all syruped out and just needed water instead.
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