Inspecting My Top Bar Hive

Inspecting My Top Bar Hive

I recruited help again for this inspection, I needed someone to take the pictures! I have been feeling comfortable enough to not use the smoker when I open the hives. Using the smoker feels like a big project to me. I still need practice lighting it and keeping it lit. Sometimes it works well for me and other times it just burns out. I like not feeling like I have to use it every time.

This colony has ten bars in use, but one was still empty and two had small combs on them. The bars with small comb also had festooning bees hanging from them. I did not want to disturb their comb making process, so I did not move those bars. I added four empty bars and placed them in between the bars that had full combs drawn.

On this inspection I found lots of larvae! The larvae was very obvious this time. I was relieved to see so much larvae. I also saw plenty of eggs and capped brood. I did not find the queen, but there was plenty of evidence of her being there.

Some of the comb was bulging out toward the top of the bar. I tried to fix it a little, since the wax is still soft. I am not sure of the best way to fix this though. I didn’t want to make too much of a mess of things. I did move each of the bars that had full combs on them. I wanted to make sure that the combs are not stuck to the sides of the hive.

When I move the bars that the bees have started building comb onto the sides, the bees swoop in quickly and begin to fix the comb. They also collect any honey that may have spilled from moving the bars. When they are taking care of that they are less likely to care what I am doing.

The bees did not seem angry today when I opened the hive. They seemed mostly calm, of course there are the guard bees that were trying to protect their home. They were not aggressive though and the inspection went very well.

Feeders are empty.
Feeders are empty.
Removing feeders.
Removing feeders.
Scraping comb.
Scraping comb.
Nice brood pattern.
Nice brood pattern.
Capped brood.
Capped brood.
Emerging bee!
Emerging bee!
Closer look.
Closer look.
Capped honey on top.
Capped honey on top.
Bulging comb.
Bulging comb.

2 Replies to “Inspecting My Top Bar Hive”

  1. Hi Melissa

    I am still up at brothers Farm and hope to be home Wed as I mentioned I checked in on your site and like the way you had some one document your inspection I am looking forward to meeting you as we talked about and seeing your hives how often do you do your inspections I am thinking I would like to be there during one. As I said I live in Ayer and when we can match up a time would like to see it done up close. I am still looking into what type of hives to start with next spring I m now thinking of a top bar for one of my host properties. Did you use a nuke’s to start these two hives and I have questions on the wintering of these hives here in New England i am seeing some mention that they need some adjusting more than the regular hives. Again great pghoto’s and hope we can get together soon.
    Mike

  2. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for checking out my site! I am glad that you liked it. We can talk more on Sunday when we do the hive inspection about the care of the hives. See you then.

    Thanks!
    Melissa

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