Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bee Vlog - July 29, 2012

Hive weigh-in:
Queen Anne: Unknown - so heavy it was breaking the scale and I couldn't get a weight. I need to rebuild and strengthen the hive scale.
Queen Beatrice: 58.6 lbs (+4.2 lbs from 10 days ago)

The Queen Anne hive is doing well and continues to bring in honey. I only inspected the top honey super today. I found them building up the honeycomb so thick that it looks like they are making 2 layers of cells on each face. So a single frame has 4 layers of honey cells instead of the usual 2. I'm not sure if this happens frequently with honey in foundationless frames or if it's a strange by-product of me essentially giving them the spacing to do so. There's really nothing I can do about it though, so I took out an empty frame and spaced things out a little more to give them more room on the adjacent frames for building out the comb properly. It should be interesting to see how things turn out with this box.

Video Link

The swarm colony (Queen Beatrice) is still doing well without being fed. But they are building up slower than Queen Anne did her first couple of months. (By this time Queen Anne's hive was twice the size and I was adding a third box.) They also built crooked comb on every frame that was crossing over and attaching to the adjacent frames. This made it impossible to inspect without tearing things apart and destroying good comb. So I did a little surgery and straightened the comb out. I think I did a pretty good job of fixing things, but the bees will need to properly re-attach the comb. I was impressed with how calm the bees remained throughout the "surgery." They only got a little noisy and restless on the last frame where I had to cut out a major section of comb and relocate it. But even then they didn't show any signs of aggression, just annoyance.

Video Link


  1. Looks as though things are moving a long. Every once in a while I get those crazy pieces of comb too. Bees just don't seem to understand our idea of neat and orderly. I just think that they know that complete order is not necessary. :) Nice vid.

    1. Thanks! They were doing a good job at their version of order, but my inspections were making a mess. I wonder if they'll get confused by my moving their bread to another shelf on the opposite side of the pantry. I'm interested to see if they'll move it back.