The bees have had a little more than a week to settle in to their new home. I checked on them two days after they were installed. The queen was still in the queen box so I decided to hang the queen box on one of the top bars. While in the hive, we got to see that the bees are very busy building their comb. They had started three combs and they were building them following the guide on the top bar. Brand new comb is pure white and looks so beautiful.
I went back to the hive a couple of days later to check on the queen. The workers had released her and I removed the queen box. I did not look for the queen, I was trying not to be too disruptive.
Then I needed to go back a couple of days later to fix the feeder set up. I spoke with customer service at Bee Thinking and I learned that I had set up the feeder wrong. I didn’t put the divider board between the bees and the feeders. Bee Thinking let me know that I needed to raise the divider board by putting something under it that was about 3/8 inch to allow the bees to go in and out of the feeder area. I found some large colored pencils and broke them in half. The pencils are the shapes of hexagons, so they have some flat surfaces to prevent them from rolling.
When I went to fix the feeders, I also checked the level of sugar water. Both of the jars were about half full. I decided that I would return to refill the feeders and to do another inspection in a few days. When I returned to the hive, it had been almost two weeks since the bees had been installed.
This was the first time that I had used the smoker. For fuel I had blank newsprint paper, cedar wood chips, and I tossed in some dried lemon balm. I have read that bees really like lemon balm and I have a bunch dried from my garden. I made sure that the smoke was cool. The bees seemed pretty calm when I opened the hive, I am not sure if it was the smoke or they were just relaxed.
I filled the feeders first and then replaced the top bars in that area. Then it was time to inspect the bars where the bees are living. The bees have 9 bars right now and they have started comb on about 6 of the bars. I inspected 3 of the bars. I found the queen and I spotted eggs. There was also some pollen stores in the comb and either nectar or the beginning phases of honey. I still have some learning to do on what to look for, but I am sure that with time it will get easier.