Friday, December 24, 2010

Checking on the Hive

Since the new bees arrived six weeks ago, their hive hadn't been opened to check on how they were going It's been rainy, windy, or not convenient, but today finally was a lovely day with no other commitments to stop it happening.

And not a moment too soon, it seems. The bees have filled all the frames in the main part of the hive, and what's going on in the lid?

As the hive mat (that piece of lino in the lid, which should be on top of the frames) was peeled back, it revealed that the bees have built comb to just about fill every available space.

So a second storey (officially it's called a "super", but I like to think of the hive as a house) with eight empty frames was placed on top of the hive, and bees from the lid were gently brushed into it.

Then the honeycomb was scraped off the lid:

Any bees still in the lid were brushed out before the hive mat and the lid were replaced.

Some of the honeycomb came inside for us (and it is very very yummy), and some was left out for the bees to clean up.  Here's a bee who just arrived back from collecting pollen to find some spilled honey.  And in the background you can see how the remaining honeycomb is covered with bees retrieving the honey.

What an exciting day!


  1. Wow--I'd love to see a full pic of the beekeepers outfit. Looks as though it would do an ancient knight proud!

  2. Try 8th November last year for a long view.

  3. Thanks--I guess you're willing to get closer to the bees after a year or so of having them around.

  4. that was a busy and productive day, well done...k.