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hive inspection 7.0 – sugar, oh honey, honey

Sting count:  0

Spot the queen? Negative

Eggs and Larvae? Some capped brood and drone cells

Pollen and Nectar? Loads of pollen, lots of nectar, some capped honey comb

Combs inspected: 6 of 18

We did a quick inspection this weekend as it had been some time since we had been in the hive (approximately two weeks).  The whole weekend was sunny and hot and the bees were very busy. Still, with their growth and expansion, there were plenty of bees for us to work with even in the middle of the day.  We now have a few honey combs being built and filled with nectar.  One comb even was mostly capped, indicating that there is ripe honey in the cells.

Capped honey in a comb!

When the bees first deliver nectar into the honey comb, it has a fairly high water content and isn’t yet considered to be honey. Once the water content has reduced and the combs are capped with wax, the nectar will have transformed into honey that can be preserved almost indefinitely.

We saw a few cells with brood further into the hive and one cell near the front of the brood nest almost completely filled with pollen.  We didn’t pull all of the combs, but as the hive looked so healthy, we didn’t become too concerned about finding the queen or going through each comb.  We put an empty bar in front of the honey combs and at the end of the brood nest to help ensure that the queen doesn’t feel “honey-bound” (having no space to lay eggs when the honey combs are right next to the brood nest).

Our two-comb-on-one-bar oddity

There is only room in our hive for approximately 8 more combs, so we may be able to harvest a few honey combs when they remaining space has been taken up.  We’ll try to ensure there is enough time left in the season so that the bees head into winter with as much stored as possible.

After the inspection, we saw some strange behaviour from a drone that was well away from the hive, on the sidewalk leading to our garage.  It was buzzing quite loudly and flopping around.  It looked like he was throwing himself down on the ground and landing on his back.  He would right himself and crawl around a bit before suddenly flipping over on his back. We’ve posted a video of it and if anyone has any thoughts about what could be going on with this drone, feel free to comment!

Click for our strange drone video

 

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