It was great to have Lily there to do the camera thing so we could focus on the bees. Thank you, Lily!
I've divided the inspection into two posts this time -- one post for each hive -- so I can talk about different things without overloading you with bee info. We'll start with the Flower Lang.
The Flower Lang has comb issues.
They're the ones who built the extra comb on the side of the hive. We've had to do a lot of comb repair in this hive. Mostly because they're building wonky, but once because I broke a comb off. Last week we repaired 4 combs.
See how it's bent?
It's not supposed to be bent like that.
That's one of the combs we repaired last week. It looks like the comb rolled sideways a bit and crumpled at the bottom. Soft comb'll do that.
In the meantime, the bees started a new comb from the top. They'll meet soon.
We decided to bend that soft comb back straight and cut out the crumpled stuff at the bottom.
I used a knife to cut out the crumpled stuff at the bottom of the north side.
Notice that I left the bees on while I worked. They're much happier that way.
This is what it looked like when I was done.
Last week's repair. This is a frame that we repaired last week. I think it's the one I broke. It stayed put enough for the bees to draw all that new comb above it. There's lots of capped brood under those bees and eggs in the new edge comb.
The good news is that we are getting a lot of experience doing cut-outs...sort of. Only I'd be happier if we weren't cutting them out of their own frames.
Queen. Here's the queen at the bottom of the comb just getting on the wood frame. It's easier than I thought to find the queens. The other bees give the queens some space. The queens don't hurry, but they're always on the move.
Here's a better pic of some new eggs. They really showed up in this piece of comb.
At the bottom of the hive we found a little piece of comb that had broken off [sorry no pic!] In it were two small/medium larvae, dead and black. Way too small to have been capped. It smelled a bit rotten. I stuck a twig in it to see if it would string out [like American Foul Brood does], but it didn't much. I guessed that this bit of comb broke off before the freezes we had early last week and that these poor guys got frozen. A bit of internet research netted me this fabulous chart which confirmed that it was likely that these guys had indeed died from the cold.
If you're interested in what color pollen comes from what plant, check out this wiki page.