Last I wrote to you guys, I had just introduced 4,000 bees to our new hive, and was smarting from the stings that I received. Well about five weeks have passed and I have so much to tell you about. Initially, I had to change the bees food every other day. It’s an easy 1:1 sugar water syrup, for those of you who are tossing around the idea of getting started. I have finally mastered the art of lighting my smoker, which has a strange, but wonderful effect on the bees. No stings since day one! You may have noticed an unpainted top half to my hive in the first pictures. That was because spring in Missouri is still very cold and the beekeeper I bought my bees from suggested that I add an empty hive body to keep the food in while the temps are cold so they do not have to venture out of the hive. It worked very well, and when I got back from vacation I had an interesting anomaly in the empty hive body that I had to deal with.
Bees were happy and gathering pollen and nectar on my uncut yard. I got my things together and lit the smoker, as I lifted the lid on the empty hive body I saw a large amount of honeycomb coming out of the top of the lower hive into the empty area. I knew this was not what was supposed to be happening, so I moved the feeder jar to the front opening of the hive. Then it was back to taking care of the large 6″x6″ fanlike honeycomb that was covered in about 300 bees. I knew they wouldn’t be happy with me taking their past few days work away from them, but I had no choice. I wanted to make sure that the queen hadn’t made her way out of the hive and into the new comb. If that had happened I would run the risk of losing her and my hive.
I smoked the bees for a few seconds, then got my trusty hive tool, which is like a mini crow bar. I loosened the new honeycomb and then began removing the bees from it. It took about a minute, and thankfully the queen wasn’t out of her area. Once I laid the honeycomb on the ground, I began to open my lower 10 hive bodies to look at what was going on. I was very pleased to see an almost complete filling of the lower 10 hive bodies with beeswax and new bee larvae. This means two important things, new bees and eventually more honey!
Soon I will add a queen screen to the top of the first level. It will keep the queen and drones from getting into the new layer of hive while the workers are able to fill it with honeycomb and ultimately about 50 pounds of sweet honey. I can taste it now. Things just taste better when you are a part of the process.
Click here for a detailed video I made while checking in on the hive later in the week. If you haven’t subscribed to our blog to get the latest posts from the hill, please do so. Just sign up with your email address and don’t forget to confirm the subscription. Visit us on our facebook page and if you haven’t had time to do so; please click like and share our posts and links with others, as you feel led.