Thursday, October 4, 2007

1st Peek Inside

Well I attempted my first peek inside the hive - and I learned.

1) Smoker - the smoker is harder to light and keep lit than I thought. I used a combination of bark and leaves. Too much bark at first. One thing that surprised me was the noise level increase when I smoked the top of the hive. The bees may have been trying to remove the smoke?

2) Plan - I kept having to go back inside for stuff I forgot. I need to have a plan for what I am going to do, and make sure I have everything, before lighting the smoker.

3) Food - They drained their quart of food - I might have to check that more often.

4) Seeing - I pulled the frames out to see what was on them. Unfortunately, I did not have my glasses (see #2) so I couldn't tell the queen from anyone else. What I could see was a frame full of capped brood. A lot of open cells with liquid inside (without glasses could not tell if there were eggs or larvae inside). The other frames were filled with a mix of pollen, brood and open cells. I did not see much honey stored.

5) Robbing? - After I was finished I sat next to the hive just to watch what was going on. It was nearing dark. There was a lot of activity at the entrance. Some of the bees returning(?) made a lot of noise and seemed to land at the entrance in groups of 4 or 5. I may just be over-reacting as a newbee, but I am wondering if it is robbing. After I smoked my bees and then put a new food bottle, I am wondering if they were not able to defend the hive well? We'll see.

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