The bees are doing fine

One of our new top bar hives
One of our new top bar hives

Yesterday we took a look again at our honey bees. Spork and I took some time after doing all the other farm chores to check in and see if the queens were doing their jobs. This was especially important because on one of the hives I had to go in an open up the queen cage.

A queen in her cage
A queen in her cage

The bees had chewed through the candy that the cage is capped with. That’s the white stuff you see on the left. However once the bees could physically access the queen, they’d stopped chewing. The queen is bigger than the regular bees and while they could get in, she couldn’t get out. I couldn’t reach the candy with my knife so I thought I’d just pop open the wire screen and let her out. Unfortunately it sorta ripped open suddenly and bees went everywhere. I wasn’t entirely sure if she’d gone into the hive or flown away. After a few minutes of careful searching, I was relieved to see eggs in the comb that the bees had drawn, meaning she was at work in the hive. I also noted that there was honey and pollen being stored by the bees and new comb continuing to be drawn. In other words, all was well.

Then I decided to check the other hive for the same activity. A bit of smoke and a few minutes work and yes, there were eggs in the other hive we’d placed and all was well.

Finally I decided to check on the swarm hive.┬áNot only was there plenty of activity, the bees have quite a bit of capped honey already. Since they started with honey already in the hive that wasn’t quite the same hill to climb as the other bees. They also had properly swarmed rather than being sucked into a box in a bee yard with no warning. But having this much capped honey means these guys have it going on. Since Spork had worked so hard with me all day, I cut out a small section of capped honey and handed it to him. After getting sticky from his eyebrows to his chin, he went and shared it with his sisters. There was much happiness on the farm.

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