It's always a good idea to keep a Bee Journal - full of notes on your observations on the progress of your hives. I'll be doing so digitally, with my series called "Bee Notes" here on the Fox's Garden blog.
Bee Notes is a series of observations about my two hives - two separate colonies and superorganisms.
Hive 1 & Queen 1 is named Adela.
Hive 2 & Queen 2 is named Helena.
So basically, at the start of the month I checked out Helena’s hive. Due to heat, nerves, and bad luck - a series of events occurred - and between those events and the heat - I just never made it back into the hives.
It’s been close to 16 days since I last inspected the colonies.
Today I went into the hives racing to beat the sun and high temperatures.
Most beekeeping resources suggest you examine a hive anytime between 10:00 Am and 3:00 Pm, mid dayish. This is because most of the bees will not be in the hive at that time. It makes it easier and safer to conduct an inspection with less bees disturbed.
However, the heat we’ve had and are having... I was warry of a mid-day, full sun inspection. So with no end to this hot weather in sight, I decided to inspect in the morning.
I set out to the hives a little after 8:00 AM and inspected Adela’s Colony.
Man, Adela has grown! This hive continues to impress. There are so many bees in this colony that they just spill out of the boxes. It’s beautiful.
The bees and larva look healthy. I saw eggs, larva, drones, and capped brood. Bee bread and nectar as well.
The brood chambers (where the babies are grown) are starting to shrink back from the second deep box to the first in preparation for the dearth and winter.
The entire second deep box is now full of HONEY.
Oh my gosh, it takes discipline to not just rip into a comb and eat!
But I made an agreement long ago with my girls that the second deep box belongs to them.
That honey will help the colony survive the winter 🥶 and that’s the biggest priority for me at the moment —> helping my new colonies get established and developed for long term residency here.
So, good job Adela 👏
Her inspection board was pretty dirty, so that got cleaned. Signs of hive beetles and larva. There were a few varroa mites on the board.
My guess is that the colony is strong enough to keep these pests in check. There didn’t appear to be pest damage in the hive.
Overall, Adela’s colony appears to be thriving and has signs of winter preparedness. Hooray!
The sun had made its appearance about 30 minutes into this inspection. The temperature became unbearable and I didn’t want to expose the comb or younger bees to such heat.
I closed up the box and went back into the air conditioning 😂
Helena’s colony will be inspected later this week in a similar fashion - I can’t wait to see what’s going on in there!
Check back later for more bee notes 📝