i was able to get in and check out my sweet honeybees last week.
this hive is actually only two deep but i was lazy and left the empty feeders on, with the third brown box covering them.
these are my tools.
smoker, hive tool: for prying apart propolis sealed boxes and frames, bee brush and frame holder.
this is the hive that i knew was empty of bees.
they just didn't make it, even after all that.
but again, and anyways, i am lazy, so it sat like this all winter.
this is the inner cover of that "empty" hive.
and these are the frames of that "empty" hive.
do you see the markings on the tops of the frames...those tell me which way i want my frames facing and what year i started using that frame. the foundation wax in each frame has a design that is better used by the bees, they draw comb more quickly on it, if it is facing a particular way, a certain way, the right way, the way that helps them get a faster start and encourages them to start buliding comb at all!
details friends, details!
see that hole in my partially drawn foundation wax...that is because my hive was not indeed "empty" but was at some point, for a very SHORT time, occupied by a small critter.
here is the critters grassy little nest and some burr comb(the extra comb the bees build between gaps to make their perfect "bee space"). i got real lucky because although there was a little grassy nest and a hole in the wax foundation of one frame, there was no critter poop or pee or mess, whatsoever. lucky indeed...an owl must have got the little bugger right after he built his nest and i am pleased!
so here we are back to the first hive, the active one, but after i took off the extra empty box, and you can see the sweet bees coming and going.
it's hard to get a close up without taking my gloves off and we all know that i still work my hives with my gloves on!
yep, that's me happy as can bee...
(since these photos were taken it became obvious that the active hive was doing so well that it needed to be supered! that means that both the top and bottom hive bodies were so full of lovely sweet bees that i was able to add a honey super now, in early spring, and i may get some maple honey! woot! not everyone loves maple honey but i am just darn excited that i figured out they needed more space BEFORE they swarmed on me again! cheers to early honey supering! yay sweet bees!)
in other news, and less importantly, i am over here working on more half done blog posts that have been sitting around with photos but no words since forever and a day. some are for my own documentry satisfaction and others are for you. i know, i aim to please!