This past weekend marked the first week for having honeybees (see Hiving Honeybees); so it’s time to go in and inspect to determine whether the queens have escaped their boxes, and hopefully see some eggs to verify the queen’s are alive and laying. Before inspecting the hives, the first thing to do is get the hive smoker going.
It’s really important to make sure the smoker is working well - wouldn’t want the fire going out mid-inspection.
Here’s Randy carefully removing the top feeder to start the hive inspection.
Opening up the hive, note that the smoker is in action (in the bottom left corner of the photo).
The queen’s box being removed, to determine whether she’s been released into the hive yet.
Here’s the empty queen box, her worker’s successfully ate their way through the “candy” plug in the end of the box, and it’s confirmed that the queen’s been released into the hive!
Looking into the hive after removing some of the frames. The bees have built burr comb (the white looking stuff beneath the bees) on one frame, which needs to be removed.
Preparing to remove the burr comb. The bees were very calm, they didn’t get upset as the burr comb was scraped off the frame.
Here’s what the burr comb looks like after being removed from the frames.
After finishing inspection of the frames and bees, the frames go back in.
Then the top feeder goes on.
First inspection successfully complete! Everything looking good, we didn’t see any eggs yet in the hives, but the bees are busy bringing back supplies, so there’s a good chance the queens have survived and are making eggs.