It has only been two days since the bees were installed, but I decided to check on them. I only wanted to see how much progress they had made toward releasing their queens. I knew it was early still, but I was curious. It is very exciting to watch the colonies progress as the season goes on, but the beginning of the season has the most excitement. There is so much change and growth early on and I really enjoy being able to share in that with the bees.
The Willow hive was the first one that I checked on. I watched at the entrance for a little bit and they were bringing in pollen, which is a good sign. The pollen that the bees bring into the hive is mostly used to feed the brood. It is a great source of protein for them. Then I opened the observation window to get a better idea of what I will be looking at when I open the hive.
I removed the bar that was next to the bar with the queen cage, they had started building comb on it. Fresh comb is very beautiful and smells so nice. The bees didn’t seem to mind that I was there and looking around. I took out the bar with the queen cage attached to it and checked on her. The queen was still in the cage, but the bees were working to get her out. They had eaten about 2/3 of the piece of candy, so they will be releasing her soon. I put everything back in the hive the way that I found it and closed it up.
Then it was time to go across the street to the Orchard hive. Again, I spent some time watching the bees at the entrance. This colony was also bringing in pollen and the bees seemed calm. Then I opened the observation window to see what was going on in this hive. It looked the same as the Willow hive. There were bees clustered on the bar with the queen and there was a new comb being built on the bar next to it. When I opened the hive, that is exactly what I found.
This colony had not yet released their queen, but they were working hard at doing so. They also had built some new, beautiful comb and I apologized to them for disturbing their festooning. Opening this hive was pleasant also, the bees seem to be very happy here. Once I had a good peek I put everything back and closed up the hive.
I did not want to disturb them too much since they have only been here a couple of days. I will come back again soon to check in on the queen and see what the progress is. I have also been following the weather closely to make sure that I do not open their hives when it is too cold or windy and I never open the hives when there is rain. We have had some nice weather and I am looking forward to that continuing.