A few weeks ago we went into the hive to check on the bees’ progress, but I never got around to writing about it. This means, incidentally, that almost every bee you’re about to see is dead of old age by now.
Even this one.
This is as spooky as beekeeping blogs get.
We went in to check on the state of things and, if the state was good, to add a honey super. Until this point we’ve been letting the bees focus on building up their numbers. Once they get established, however, it’s time to start concentrating on honey production.
We opened up the top hive body and took a look. This frame against the outside wall was still bare.
A little farther in, though, production was in full swing. We’d put a shim between the two hive bodies, hoping the bees would build some interesting burr comb to fill in the empty space. And they did! Here’s some of it, hanging off the bottom of the frame.
This next frame has hardly any burr comb – the structures hanging off the bottom are 100% bee. And that white arc across the top is all capped honey.
Since the bees seemed to be moving right along (and running out of room), we plopped our honey super on top, with the queen excluder (the metal screen in my hands) between it and the hive bodies. This will keep the queen laying in the hive bodies and allow the workers to store honey in the honey super.
Some beekeepers don’t believe in them, but anything that keeps grubs out of your honey sounds good to me.
The bees are still happy and healthy. (At least they were last time we checked). Soon we’ll be going back in to scope out the honey and the mite population.
I hope they haven’t gotten too used to us being gone.