I had mentioned to my husband that I needed to do an inspection of the hive that is in the host yard. We got everything ready and went over. For some reason, my husband thought shorts were acceptable to wear when opening a bee hive! Needless to say he got stung and even though I had pants on one got me too. We headed home without inspecting the hive.
I chewed up a plantain leaf and put it onto the sting, many people swear by it’s healing properties. I kept it on for about fifteen minutes. The area where I was stung seemed to be okay until the evening, it swelled up. I had another welt on my leg that was the size of a soccer ball. That night I went out and bought rain pants. Trying on pants with a huge welt on your leg is not pleasant!
The next morning I decided that I would inspect the hive on my own. I made sure that all of my gear was on tight and I put my new rain pants on for extra protection. The weather was good, so I was hoping for happy bees.
The first thing that I checked was under the hive lid for wasps. The lid was clear, so I continued on with the inspection. The colony has fifteen bars, one of them is empty and I added one more. The colony seems to be growing very quickly.
While looking through the hive, I spotted the queen and watched her for a moment. She seems healthy and active. There is many signs of her presence within the hive. There are a lot of eggs, larvae, and capped brood.
There was a section of drone brood on one of the bars. I was able to watch one of the drones chew threw the cap and come out of the cell. It was interesting to see the nurse bees come and attend to the drone so quickly.
Some of the combs were not built straight down. There were some bulges near the top of the bars which caused some of the other combs to be shaped funny. When I removed those bars for inspection, some of the capped honey spilled from the bulge being broken open. The bees were very quick to come and clean up the spilled honey. The bees that came to clean up the honey had no interest in me at all, they just focused on cleaning up.
I saw everything that I needed to. The main difference between this hive and my other hive is that the colony is growing very quickly with this one and the other hive seems to be putting more focus into honey production. It will be interesting to see how things progress through the summer.
Once the inspection was over I took off my coat and rain pants. It was quite warm today and all that gear did not help. The rain pants got very hot and I was happy to get them off. I may need to consider a beekeeping suit.