I started with the first of two hives. We call this one "Busy Bee".
My 9 year-old enjoyed lighting the smoker with pinestraw while I got everything ready for the first inspection. All day, the upcoming inspection kept popping into my mind about what to do. During lunch, I visited several sites including Linda's Bees and some others for some quick advice.
I piddled for a couple of minutes after the obligatory 3 puffs of smoke at the entrance. I puffed the inner over and waited another minute. The bees buzzing roared and stayed there during the rest of the inspection. I took off the top cover and placed it upside down on the ground. Using the unfamiliar hive tool, I gently pried the inner cover off and lifted it up . . . and it had a mass of bees attached to it about an inch thick and approx the size of my hand. They spread like thick pancake batter and revealed the queen! What is she doing here? . . in a mass attached to the inner cover? What do I do now?
|The queen was revealed as the mass spread|
(she is in the middle with yellow dot)
|I coaxed her back onto one of the frames below . . careful!|
|You can see the empty zip-loc and small riser for the zip-lock feeder . . ..|
. . .remember this dimension for later
|You can see the comb they built with the extra|
space that I accidentally gave them
Ready to open Hive#2: "Big Bee" . . Holy Comb!
|They built 3 combs from top to bottom|
|underside of inner cover . . . the comb attached|
to the previous picture
- Don't forget to add all of the frames back when you install bees
- I should have installed the 1 gallon zip-locs instead of the quart ones since they were totally gone
- Puff the smoker every so often
- The black foundation is the way to go--the yellow makes the eggs very difficult to see.
- Why would the Queen be in a cluster attached to the inner cover? (I read on Beesource that is is called "Balling" but she is laying eggs in regular pattern?
- Why would they build comb in the space where my zip-loc feeder was?
And finally it looks like the queen is a good queen with quite a few eggs.