I inspected the Top Bar hive in my yard. I used the GoPro camera, the videos are below. I had to cut them into three videos to more easily upload them to YouTube. I decided to look through all of the bars that had comb on them. The bees have 8 bars: 3 of the bars are empty, 2 bars have small combs on them, and 3 of the bars have full combs. This colony seems to be slower than the other at building up their hive.
As I was looking through the comb I found capped honey and capped brood. I only noticed one egg on bar number thirteen. Bar seventeen felt heavier than the other bars when I pulled it out. It had more capped honey than any of the other bars. It was interesting to be able to feel the difference when lifting the bars.
The one thing that I did not see was larvae. I am pretty sure that I must have just missed them, but I did not see any at all in any of the combs. I thought it was strange to not see any since they were so obvious just the day before in the other top bar hive. I came to the conclusion that I just wasn’t looking in the right places and that my eyes are not well trained yet. I am not going to worry since I saw evidence of the queen in the form of eggs and capped brood.
When you pull out a bar with comb on it there is so much to see. There are usually a lot of bees on the comb and they move around quickly. On many combs you will find nectar and honey at the top and then some pollen stores. Spotting eggs can be quite a challenge, it is easier when there is sunlight to hold the comb up to. Capped brood looks different than capped honey and if the laying pattern is good, capped brood is easy to see. There is also larvae to see and as they get bigger they should be somewhat easy to find. Hopefully next time I will spot the larvae more easily.
I only added two more bars since they still had 3 empty bars and two with small combs on them. I will check on them again in a few weeks to see how things are going. If I don’t find larvae next time, then I will seek out some help.
Using the GoPro camera during inspections was very fun. I think it is great to be able to go back and watch the inspections. One of my favorite parts of the video is when the bees are coming face to face with the camera lens!