The weather was perfect on Sunday to do a full bee hive inspection, so I gathered my equipment and donned my bee suit and off I went. Brian came along to snap some photos and lend support as I’m still a little nervous going into the hive. I started without my gloves but by frame #5 I had to slip them on as my confidence slowly dwindled as I got closer to the bees.
I pulled out each frame one by one to check for eggs and larvae, which I found in various stages. I also found a lot of capped brood which is a good sign. They should be hatching on or about June 27th if my calculations are correct. It’s all so exciting!
Because we started out so late this year, I don’t think we’re going to get any surplus honey. We’ll see how it goes. My main concern now is to watch for pests and diseases (namely Varroa) and to continue feeding as I don’t believe they’re strong enough to go without a little help. I also bought some pure beeswax so I’m going to paint some on the empty frames to help them draw out comb faster and get that Queen laying. The hive needs to build up fast if it’s going to survive the winter.
What’s blooming for the bees right now? Many plants but to name a few: Daisy fleabane, common daisy, yarrow, yellow sweet clover, wild parsnip, spiderwort, wild lupine, wild iris, wild geranium, red clover, wild geranium, milkweed, as well as several trees.
After a successful inspection (it’s always good to see the Queen!), I closed up the hive, gathered my equipment, took off heavy/hot bee suit, and emptied my smoker. I sat and watched bees going in and out of the hive for awhile and then headed back to the house.
My next scheduled inspection will be on Sunday the 24th, but I may leave it until Wednesday when I’m expecting bees to be hatching. Wouldn’t it be awesome to see bees emerging from their cells?!
Until next time,