Monday, February 18, 2008

First inspection of 2008!

Today, I was able to do my first hive inspection of the year. Let me say right off the bat, my bees are kicking butt and taking names. There were many more bees in the hive than I expected, they have plenty of honey (more likely sugar syrup) stored, and there are several hand-sized patches of brood on several frames. They are bringing in tons of pollen (which is used to make new bees!). The additional super of sugar syrup that I left on the hive remains hardly touched. In fact, I doubt I will need to use a queen excluder this year when I super up for honey, since that super of syrup will keep the queen from laying eggs above it. I was worried that I might need to start feeding soon, but the way things stand right now, I won’t need to worry about feeding for a while.

The most surprising sight in the hive was the presence of capped drone brood on my drone frame- although I did not see any hatched drones. Thinking like a bee for second, I am a little worried that they might decide to swarm. Although this is only a second year queen, they have a ton of food stored, so the queen might decide to establish a new colony (by swarming) since this one is doing so well. If that is the case, I will see some swarm cells in another month or so, in which case I’ll split the hive. That will really put a hurting on the honey crop I was hoping for this year, but I will have two hives instead of one. The beekeeper wants the bees to make honey, but the bees want to make new colonies of bees.

Here they are trucking in a whole lot of pollen:

Here are the capped drone cells:

blog comments powered by Disqus