Checking the hive

I usually smoke the bees before I check a hive.  This does three things, first it masks the alarm smell alerting other bees of an intruder (me), second it makes them start eating honey because since the hive is on fire (they think) they will have to leave, and who wants to leave all that yummy honey?  Not the bees.  Thirdly, once the bees are full of honey, the can’t bend their abdomens to sting me as easily.Smoke them

After smoking the bees I open up the hive and start looking at frames.  The bees glue things together so sometimes it is quite a challenge to pull up a frame.

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On the frames I am looking for evidence that the queen is still alive and laying.  The eggs look like tiny little grains of rice at the bottom of a cell.  I also look for larva its other stages of development.

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Then it’s just a matter of gently (I don’t want to squish anybody)  sliding the frame back into the hive and closing things up.

We still need to winterize the hives.  I’ll report more on that later.

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2 thoughts on “Checking the hive

  1. Hello,
    This is Konae and I am truly enthralled by bees. Chris even got me a book on bee keeping but we don’t have the space at our house. Chris told be about the bees you have when he was reading your blog the other day so I finally had time to look for myself and I read all of your posts about bees. I would love to learn everything you know about them and how you get to move them and the honey aaahhh tasty liquid sweetness. I would love to come and help next time you have bees to keep – let me know.

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