Checking the Bee Hive

Opening the beehive

It’s an important practice to check your beehive periodically.  We check ours to see if the bees are doing a good job filling out their frames and if they’re ready for a 2nd brood box.  We also check for evidence that the queen is laying eggs, that there aren’t any queen bee cells (a sign that your bees aren’t happy about something…) and that there isn’t any evidence of disease or infestation.  

Before opening up the hive we always smoke it first to calm the bees down.  We always wear gloves, long sleeves, light colors and pants and one of us wears the beekeeping hat.  OK, we don’t always wear all those things, but we should. 

Here are photos from checking our hive:

Always smoke the hive before opening it up.

Randy taking out a frame for inspection.

We use a hive tool to scrape the wax off the top of the frames. This wax goes back in the box for the bees to re-use.

This frame has vertical strings and the bees have been building honeycomb on the frame and between the strings. This one is in process of being built.

This frame does not have any support strings, the bees have been building from the top down.

Well built-out frame where the queen has laid eggs resulting in “capped brood”. The dark brown, open cells are where she is laying eggs and the pale brown ones are capped. The pale white at the top corners is capped honey.

On this frame the bees have a lot of honey along the top and are just starting to cap brood, or larvae, in the middle.

Zoom in of the bees working on capping honey cells.

Close up of the bees feeding larvae and capping brood

Happy Greening!

Alicia

One of our resources that we refer to as we learn to raise bees is Beekeeping for dummies.

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