Friday, June 18, 2010

A bee visit

I visited the bees yesterday and they're doing so well! The hive body has 10 frames in it---5 from the original nuc and 5 empty, foundationless frames that I put in. I'm being a bit of a beekeeping rebel and not using foundation in my frames and the girls are doing very well with them. Here are some photos of their progress in the last 2 weeks.

These 1st three photos are all the same frame. You can see that the bees have almost completely drawn the comb to the inside edge of the frame. What you have here are cells for the queen to lay eggs and then all those worker bees are feeding the eggs with honey (carbs) and pollen (protein). The capped cells have brood in them that are in the later stages of development, the open cells may have an egg or larva or be empty. They can also contain honey for feeding the brood and workers.

An overhead shot into the hive.

Here is a picture of some wavy comb, but you can see that it still fits within the frame. Because these frames do not have foundation, the bees have nothing to guide their comb building other than them being bees and knowing what they're doing instinctively.

A different view of the wavy comb.

And yet a different view of the wavy comb. you can see they're attaching it to the sides toward the top. Being attached will help stabilize the comb during extraction (although this frames won't be used for honey extraction, they're for brood rearing.

Another frame drawn out by the bees in the last 2 weeks.

Another frame of drawn comb, not as far along as the others, but getting there.

A shot from the top of the hive. The dark frames are the ones that came with the nuc. The lighter frames are the empty frames I originally added to the hive. In the three weeks that the bees have been in the hive they've drawn out 4 of the 5 empty frames and raised a buch of new bees.
During my visit, I took out the empty frame on the far left of the above picture and moved it to the center, where the bees like to work. I also removed two of the drawn frames in the middle and placed them in another hive body that sits on top of this hive body in hopes that the bees will finish drawing the three empty frames in the lower hive body and move up to the 8 empty frames in the next hive body.
Fun, fun, fun!!!


erinmalia said...

sooooo cool amanda!

Siana Burgess said...

Aloha Amanda! :) I haven't blogged in a while, but I have wondered off and on how you were doing! So good of you to drop by. I have read down to the post about you running over your daughter's arm LOL poor baby! I'm glad nothing is broken and wanted to let you know that in the islands Wahoo is a delicious canned tuna LOL Your daughter Lilee is the cutest! Already planning her own wedding! I was smiling away as I read that post and I loved the post of your two boys. So sweet and so wonderful that they love each other as they do. Take care of your toe! That looked ...

Siana Burgess said...

very painful! :) I love this post about your bees. Wow! You are amazing! I always wondered what it would be like to walk outside and gather fresh honey from one of those bee hives. I didn't know you were a beekeeper! Pretty cool! So you are raising a bee farm? LOL Love it! Well I gotta go get ready for work. I think your family is awesome and it is so amazing how fast the youngest has grown!!! Much Alofa to you and your family!