Monday, March 26, 2007

Pollen & The Queen (Mar 25th Inspection)

Spring is in the air as well as the bees. What a great time of year especially after the long, snowy winter that has lingered over Colorado this year. As you can see by my husband's great photos, we have been to the hive several times. The first time was to see how much food the bees had consumed and whether we needed to fatten them up, so to speak. The other couple of times we were in search of the queen. This is not always as easy as it sounds since she doesn't sit on a throne or wear a crown but she is bigger and always surrounded by her loyal subjects and in our case, she has a big white dot in her back. I guess we were looking in the wrong area the other times because she remained elusive, but this time she was there, in all her glory. After the tiny, trumpet fanfare we moved on to check out the nursery. Lots of tiny bees will soon be emerging. So despite our fears of this mysterious disappearing bee syndrome and our general lack of beekeeping experience, it seems our bees will emerge to pollinate and make us some more of that wonderful honey!
Worker bees bringing home the pollen

Her Royal Majesty the Queen

Monday, March 05, 2007

March 4th & 11th Inspections

March 4th: Good news: The hive looked very strong today! However, it looked like most of their honey stores were gone, so we began the spring feeding.

EDIT: We also noticed some comb building at the bottom of the frames... Not sure if that is normal or an indication of a pending swarm?

We inspected again on March 11
This time, there was quite a bit of comb up top too. The shot below shows more of this comb on the top. It looks like some had larvae.
We also cleaned out the bottom board. Here is what the gunk collected over the winter looked like.