Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I took a break from digging the new flower boarder to see how the bees are doing.

This is the interior of the top bar hive - now renamed Minerva.  Showing are the inside of the sloping sides, the screened bottom (with remnants of grease patty and leaves from the tree we found the swarm in), and a whole bunch of bees on their very own made by bees comb!

Getting into the hive is really easy - take off the roof and slide the follower board to one side and then slide each top bar.

This view shows the bees walking about on the inside and on their comb on the third top bar (they have seemed to congregate towards the right side of the hive space).  I started from the left side so the first two top bars were free of bees.

The bees were very calm.

I removed the top bars and found beautiful, beautiful comb - all made by the bees themselves.  As you can see the comb is very clean and translucent.

This is a close up photograph of the comb.  It is such fantastic stuff.  It may be difficult to see but there is nectar in the cells turning into honey.

Of course, the big question is where is the queen.

There she is!  And, just by sheer luck, this photograph shows her laying an egg in a cell!

With my tiny experience with Langstroth hives and top bar hives, from the beginner's point of view, I think I prefer working the top bar hive.  It's so straight forward and easy.  We'll see if I still feel this way next Spring!

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