A member of the beekeeping club that I belong to has shown interest in top bar beekeeping. I invited him to inspect the host hive with me. We met up at eight am on August first. The weather was good and the sun was out. We looked in the observation window first. They had a couple of empty bars still. The rest of the hive looked full and busy.
The smoker was proving to be difficult for me. It took a bit of work to get it lit and going. I smoked the entrance of the hive and then opened it. The first bar that I took out, the comb broke. When I looked at the comb they had “glued” it to the side, there was quite a bit of propolis on it. The comb was empty and unused. There were three more combs that were full, but unused. I got a little further into the hive and inspected several more combs. There was uncapped and capped honey, but no brood it the any of the combs that I looked over.
The bees were getting very agitated by this time. The hum of the hive had turned into a very loud buzz. At this point the smoker went out. My guest and I agreed that it was time to close up the hive. Neither one of us wanted to continue into an angry hive especially without a smoker. The colony is strong and seem to be doing well, so I felt comfortable ending the inspection.
As it turns out, it was a good thing that we closed up the hive. Not long after we did the dark clouds rolled in. There wasn’t any rain or thunder, just thick cloud cover. This colony has already expressed how little they like cloudy days. I will have to come back when the day is clear.