We did another inspection of the beehives over the weekend, and added honey supers to the two older hives.
One part of inspections is correcting undesired behavior: sometimes bees build comb outside the frames, so we need to scrape it off. If left intact, eventually we wouldn’t be able to pull out the frames:
The new bees are doing well, expanding into their extra frames; here you can see some capped honey:
One of the older frames, of the new bees, with a bunch of worker and drone cells. The worker cells are the flat ones in the middle, and the drone cells are the lumpy ones towards the bottom. You can also see an open queen cup towards the top-left, which they build just in case it’s needed (but when towards the top, is more for practice than expected need):
We did a sugar-shake test for mites on this inspection:
Inspecting one of the older hives:
Some nice honey comb:
This hive was ready for more space before we could get to it, so they started building comb under the roof; again, not an approved place:
So we scraped off their hard work:
It’s not entirely wasted; the bees will recover most of the honey. It wasn’t worth us taking this honey, as it is likely at least partially sugar syrup from the feeder. If you look closely, you may notice the grass full of bees that were shaken off this comb (don’t worry, they’re fine):
We then added the honey super to the hive, resting on top of a queen excluder — which, as the name implies, is a grid that lets through the worker bees, but the queen can’t pass through. This ensures that only honey is stored in the honey super, not brood (baby bees).
This particular hive is a Flow hive, which has special frames that let the honey be harvested more easily:
Roof and strap back on, and looking at the harvest hatch:
Our apiary, with the two older hives on the left, with honey supers, and the two new ones on the right: