Thursday, May 3, 2012

TARDIS - Day 26: Capped brood.

Just to remind you, we took Lily with us this time to take the pics while we inspected the hives.    It was great to have Lily there to do the camera thing so we could focus on the bees.    Thank you, Lily!

I am happy to report that there was only one little bit of burr comb on this hive and we decided to leave it.   The bees are going to do what the bees are going to do.   We'll make sure it stays straight on the frames, but those little bump outs are not worth messing the comb for.

Unless someone with a lot more experience tells me otherwise.    Then I'll happily reconsider.

This week, this hive was all about capped brood.
Glorious, glorious capped brood.

We could see where the first batch of new bees has hatched out and new eggs have been laid in those cells.    This is great news.   Our blackberries have started blooming and the more bees there are, the better.  This is one of our best nectar flows of the year.    Acres and acres of blackberries.

Hopefully there will be enough new bees fast enough to store a lot up for the winter.  We'll see.

Here's a closer look at what's going on in the frames.    Blow it up for a good look.

The larvae are large and white and curled around in the cell.

The honey is shiny.   The capped honey has a smooth cap - different from the bumpy caps on the capped brood.

If you look closely you can see that the brood is capped with mini hexagons.  [It's easier to see in the second pic at the top]

When we pulled apart some of the frames, the bees festooned in three places.   It doesn't happen all the time and I'm always intrigued when it happens.   I need to find out why they do that.

The very last frame was one we had repaired last week.  The bees are doing their best to join it.

Almost there.  Only a bee width away from joining.

And here's the queen.   It was very cooperative of her to stand right next to that other bee so you can see the difference in appearance. 

We named her Liz X.   You Doctor Who fans can explain why.   

[We need a star whale hive....]


  1. Ever do any carpentry and use a plumb line? That's what bees are doing when they festoon. They're building comb, and they festoon to make sure it's plumb.
    --Brown County

  2. Indy!! Thanks for that. Eric is a carpenter and had wondered if that were the case, so thanks for the independent verification!


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