Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bugging the bees

It's been just over a week since the bees went in the hive, and I've discovered that a few modifications were necessary.

First of all, I opened the observation window to take a peek at their progress and found that I couldn't get it closed again all the way. It was a tight fit to begin with, and I think the wood swelled just enough. So yesterday I took the door off and shaved down the inner edges. And took a photo of the bees while I was at it.
They're all clustered up at the end closest to the entrance and (I hope!) building comb. Without opening up the hive top and moving bars around, I can't tell. I don't want to disrupt them any more this week.

The other change is putting the bottom board back on. We thought the screened bottom's holes were too small for a bee to get through, but no, a determined bee can wiggle through. And in doing so, the bee loses her load of pollen!
There was a sad little heap of pollen bundles scattered beneath the hive.

So the bottom board went back on, which was a challenge with all these bees saying, "Wait! No! We need to go through there!" But I did it with just a veil on, no suit or gloves, and nothing bad happened.


  1. will you be selling the pollen? I love bee pollen!

  2. 1)re cluster: If the weather is cold your bees are keeping the queen warm and protected. 2) If the bees can't get pollen inside the hive, they can't make feed for brood and the swarm will die out. 3) Depending how long they have been gone from the old hive, they may have eaten all of the honey stores that they took with them and will need to be fed.

  3. DB, No, I'll let them keep the pollen. They need it to feed the babies!

    Thanks, Debbee. It was cool out that day, so they were a little clustered, but a more recent inspection turned up lots of comb. They've had enough nice days that they're finding plenty of nectar and pollen. I don't plan to feed them.