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Thursday, April 29, 2010

We've Got Brood!

Last night, Wednesday, Aaron and I went to the farm to refill the feeders and check on the bees.  When my dad arrived at the farm he noticed that the left hive feeder jar was empty and the right one had about 3 inches of sugar water in it (these are half gallon mason jars).  By the time we arrived at 6pm both jars were empty, so they when through a full gallon of sugar water in 3 days!

We examined the left hive first to see how work was progressing and whether or not we could find the Queen.  I was pleased to see how much wax work was being done by the bees.  There were bees on every frame and wax honey comb being built on nearly all of them.  We started looking on the center frames and eventually found the Queen.  She was walking all over the frame, apparently examining the construction efforts of her workers.  I was tickled to find the Queen!  All the time while working with this hive, one of the bees was apparently upset with our invasion and kept going after Aaron.  The bee would fly directly into his veil over and over again; he hit my veil a couple of times but was mostly after Aaron.

After putting the left hive back together we started examining the right hive.  I immediately noticed it did not have near the number of bees as the other, which probably accounts for how it doesn't use as much water as the first one we looked at.  I started pulling out the outside frames and found no bees or wax on the five outermost frames.  I then looked at the center two frames where the bees where on Sunday they building extra high comb and connecting the frames.  I pulled the two frames apart removed one for examination.  That is when I saw them...Brood!  Beautiful little worms curled in their own individual cells.  I showed Aaron and he was very excited as well.  I didn't bother looking for the Queen after that, because I saw evidence of her handywork.  I very carefully replaced the frames and closed up the hive.  I'm not sure why the second hive has fewer bees; I guess they could have drifted from one to the other.

We will be up at the farm again on Sunday afternoon, and if the left hive is doing well I will probably add another hive box on top.
The little worms are the baby bees!

Queen lays egg  --  Worker feeds larva -- Larva grows full size -- Worker seals cell -- Larva becomes a pupa -- Adult bee leaves cell

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