a peek inside the hive

We noticed a lot of activity around the hive Friday afternoon and, novice beekeepers that we are, we weren't quite sure what to make of it.  When we picked up our bees early last week we were advised to give them several days to get acclimated to their new home before opening up the hive and adding the first super. (The supers are the boxes added on above the main hive body to give the bees the space they need to continue producing and storing honey.  The first super gets left on for the bees to survive on over the winter,  and we hope to harvest some honey for ourselves from any that are filled beyond that.)

We had already given them 5 days and had no idea what things were looking like on the inside.  Knowing that they'd had some time to fill the hive body before we brought them home, we were crossing our fingers that it wasn't already too full, leading them to swarm, and that we weren't too late in getting the first super on.  We were relieved to read several accounts of people noticing the kind of activity we were seeing on hot summer days, but still, we wanted to be sure.

Mike put on the veil, gloves and long sleeves, watched a video on how to build a fire in the smoker, grabbed the hive tool and a feather and headed out to investigate.

Turned out they were just fine and still had plenty of room in there.  I suppose they were just hot or orienting themselves to their new surroundings a bit more.  Mike scraped away some honeycomb from the top of the frames to discourage them from continuing to build there, checked in to see how things looked (pretty good with the exception of a couple pesky small hive beetle larvae, we'll have to get some traps), added the first super and then let them be.

We had a little nibble of honeycomb from what was scraped off the top~ mmmmmmmm good!


  1. I love all the beekeeping blogs I've been reading about lately. Hmmm. Makes me think I want bees someday too! Fun!! I love the way the gear looks. ; )

  2. We'd been wanting them for a long time and finally decided to dive in..... so far, so good. We've certainly got a lot to learn~

    And yes, the tools of the trade are pretty cool~ I love the look and feel of the smoker. Now if only I can perfect the actually use of it!


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