So far our hives seem to be doing wonderfully. They quickly lost interest in the 1:1 sugar syrup we were offering them, barely finishing the 1/2 gallons we gave them right after install. I put new brood supers on both hives about 10 days again and then did a quick check to make sure they had found their way up to the new foundation. They seem to be happy, healthy, and pest free (KNOCK ON WOOD.) I did have to scrape of some burr comb (comb they built in the wrong place) that was full of nearly capped honey. Obviously I cheated on my Whole30 challenge a little bit to taste it – I’m probably a little biased but it was basically the best honey ever.
Anyways, here’s a timeline of photos from my big kid camera now that I’m bored enough to actually do something with them. Hank isn’t quite as good of company as Luis is 😉
Here’s my cute parents right before we picked up the bees!
With our baby nuts in their boxes. We had to select our nuts from those that our supplier deemed “ready.” It was really intimidating because I had NO idea what I was really supposed to looking for besides good brood patterns and no pests.
You can kind of see the bag sugar syrup. This is probably my hive – I definitely spilled it as I propped it open. I also have read that some berks lay it totally flat under the inner cover, but that seemed to take a certain amount of finesse that I definitely lack. I just set them on top of the inner cover with an empty super around it for protection and added ventilation. This what they did in my first bee class and it seemed to work really well.
To install the nuts we just set up our hive bodies and transferred over the frames, one by one, in the same order. Then we simply shook as many bees as possibly into the hives before shutting them up. We left the nut boxes on the ground, tilted towards the hives to help encourage any confused bees to head into their new house. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but my nuc had a bunch of wonky comb so I tied it into a frame. They totally ate all the way through the twine and reestablished all that comb on the frame. The only problem is that it’s not totally straight and they’ve built two over lapping pieces now. I think I’m going to have to break it down into two frames and rubber band it in place.
That’s a pretty good brood pattern there. The photo below shows capped brood aka bee larva that is growing and will hatch soon.
Just another look inside the hive. I think that these photos were taken after the first week.
The white capped comb is honey! Did you know that capped honey can NEVER go bad? Archaeologists ate the honey found in the tombs of ancient Egyptians and it was still good.
If you follow me on Instagram (@gator_rach) you may have already seen this photo, but it’s a nice shot of the queen in the Florida hive. (I named her Gainesville.) You can identify her by the faint green dot on her back and her big butt. She’s much easier to spot in the insta after this photo.
Her majesty. My sister and I spotted her while adding the second brood supers.
And that’s all folks! We shouldn’t go back into the hives for at least a week or two. It is very difficult to find a balance between getting to know your bees and their habits as a new beekeeper and not bothering the bees so that they can do their work. We check to make sure that they’re active and I love watching the foragers come back with full pollen packets.
Andddddd before I forget this is what that delicious, honey filled buy comb looked like.