I have to admit, I am like a kid in a candy store waiting each week to open the hives for inspection. This week, I was feeling a bit nervous, after not locating Queen Thelma during last week’s inspection. I only take so much time looking for her, for my goal is to have the hives open for less than 15 minutes each. 15 minutes is such a short amount of time, especially when I just want to sit and observe these amazing creatures for hours!
After smoking the hive (to calm the bees), the frames are removed one by one for inspection. I am always on the lookout for eggs. If there are eggs present, the queen is not only alive, but doing her job successfully! This makes me feel more relaxed, if the Queen decides to not make her presence known. By this week, I was hoping to find more honey, capped honey and pollen towards the top 1/3 of the center frames. Eggs, larvae and capped brood should be found on the remaining sections, of the center frames
As you can see in the photo, the white area, at the top of the frame is the capped honey. The open areas toward the top are filled with honey. The deep yellow filled cells are pollen.
What to Expect When Inspecting
The bottom 2/3 of each frame is where the eggs, larvae and capped brood (pupa) can be located. By the 5th week, it will be time for new bees to emerge from the capped cells. They will chew their way through the cells and crawl out. I can hardly wait to witness this miracle!
I was so excited to observe Queen Thelma! That woman is non-stop action! If you Follow “Growing Self” on Instagram, feel free to check out a video of Thelma from yesterday! I was not only excited to see the Queens, but see that the inner 5 frames were filled, in both hives! The worker bees have started to draw out more of the foundation, in the remaining 5 frames. Both hives are thriving!
By next week, if 7 of the 10 frames are filled, it will be time to add a second deep hive body, holding another 10 frames. I can hardly wait!
“The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others.”
My lifelong dream of becoming a beekeeper has finally come true. As a little girl, I spent hours observing the bumbles in my Dad’s vegetable garden. I quietly followed them from blossom to blossom, with my little camera, hoping to catch a perfect shot. I would save my money to pay for film and developing, only to discover a packet of blurry photos. But, I persevered! To this day, I am still that little girl at heart, chasing the bumbles, hoping for that perfect shot. Let’s just say, I am so thankful for digital photography!
As you can imagine, we have been busy as a BEE here at Indigo Acres!
Take a look..
A Look at Our Bee Keeping Adventure!
When the bees are shipped, they arrive at the local post office. When the postman handed me our bee order, he looked a bit nervous to say the least! 20,000 bees, buzzing away! The were placed in the back of the JEEP and we were on our way home.
Once we arrived home, we were ready to place 20,000 bees in their new home.
We set up two hives, to start. 10,000 bees in each hive. If something goes wrong with the first hive, there is a second hive to share food and/or bees, thus providing support for the weaker colony.
I feel like someone just gave me 20,000 puppies! We have made another dream come true, here at Indigo Acres. I checked on my little friends this morning. I was so excited to see that they were already bring pollen back to the hives. Between the fruit trees and those beautiful dandelions, they have a great Spring food source.
Check back next week for more fun updates! I guess it’s time to take off my bee suit and put on my painting clothes. I need to finish painting the new chicken cottage today!
Have a magical weekend and enjoy some time with Mother Nature. You won’t regret it!