Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Beekeepin' Busy: 4 Weeks

 It's been four weeks since our package of Apis Mellifera Carnica aka Carniolan Honey Bees arrived at our little old house and we have enjoyed every day of our beekeeping adventure. We are madly in love with our fuzzy bugs, their industrious coming and going, their soft buzzing, and the marvelous creation of wax comb.

Yesterday we inspected the hive for the second time in four weeks. One of us usually sneaks at least a peek through the viewing window into the hive but since opening up the hive is a bit stressful for the girls, we opted to give them peace and privacy for two weeks at a time before invading and rifling through their home.
After two weeks, our girls had drawn 3 1/2 good-sized bars of comb, providing enough room for our queen to start laying the moment she saw a ready cell. There were pollen stores and even capped brood!
Another two weeks later, they had expanded the hive to a total of seven combs - an amazing effort when you consider that each pound of wax requires the energy of five pounds of sugar or honey!

 This time we finally caught a glimpse of our hive's queen. She's a lovely jet black and keeping busy laying eggs into comb with her attendants following in her wake.
We knew she was there and healthy by all the capped brood but seeing her was really neat!

Nobody got stung even though we spent almost 45 minutes inspecting the hive, cleaning, replacing the feeder, and inserting a few empty bars. We got a few curious looks - more curious than weeks before when there wasn't a brood nest to defend. - but for the most part they hunkered down and continued their work. Every once in a while a more assertive bees would take a peek at us but was easily discouraged by a little waft of smoke.

They are simply A-mazing, and we're so happy about this addition to our little old house menagerie!

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