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Checking on the Ladies

May 13th, 2009

This past Saturday we did a hive check on the ladies. I figured you’d all be wanting an update on them so I took some photos for you. We removed all of the frames from the brood box (that’s what they call the bottom boxes on the hives where the bees live). We checked each frame to see how much of it the bees had covered with comb and how much contained capped larvae.
removing-frames-from-bee-hive
What you see on the left hand side of this frame is capped brood, those are baby bees that are forming. On the right hand side you can see the empty hive cells, those are bees that have hatched out already.
bees-on-foundation
We were super excited to see that we had our first batch of hatched bees! That is a good sign for sure. We even got to see one bee chewing her way out of her cell. We also spotting the queen, which is much easier now that we’ve gotten the hang of it since she’s not marked.
checking-out-the-frames-in-hive
We’re quite excited at how well the ladies are doing. We added a new brood box because they had just about filled up the bottom one entirely, so now our hive is taller. It’s very exciting to see them doing so well. I’ve been spotting the ladies at work about the yard when I’m out working. It’s kind of nice to see them every now and then.

Anyone else noticing the pollinators this spring now that things are starting to bloom?

14 Comments to “Checking on the Ladies”
  1. Mangochild on May 13, 2009 at 5:12 am

    Hatched bees already, they must be completely settled in. Its funny, I’m seeing more pollinators out lately, but I wonder if its because this year I am more attuned to them – they’ve always been there under my nose? With all the rain here lately, I hope the sun makes an appearance soon so those bees can keep working and helping.

    Mangochild’s last blog post.. The Mystery Revealed: News in the LocalZone Garden

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  2. Faith on May 13, 2009 at 7:13 am

    I really wanted to get my hive up and going again this year. A raccoon got it several years ago and it’s hidden away in the feed/tack room right now.

    Your hatching looks great! :)

    ~Faith

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  3. Daphne on May 13, 2009 at 7:38 am

    My pollinators are about like last year. I don’t see many at this time of year. A few come out, especially the bumblebees, but I haven’t seen many honey bees or the myriad of wild bees that will show up later.

    Reply to Daphne's comment

  4. Chicago Mike on May 13, 2009 at 8:23 am

    Taint seen nary a bee of any sort yet. Its a “mite” concerning.

    Reply to Chicago Mike's comment

  5. Jennifer on May 13, 2009 at 11:49 am

    ooooooooooh how wonderful! Maybe one day we’ll have a hive too – can’t where we are now, but one day maybe…

    There’s rarely a honeybee in the backyard, and mostly just yellow jackets down at the community gardens. :( We made sure to plant a lot of flowers around our garden to attract pollinators as much as possible.

    Any idea if you’ll be able to get any honey this year?

    Jennifer’s last blog post.. Chives and Delmonico Steaks

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    • Susy on May 13, 2009 at 12:05 pm

      I’m not sure if we’ll get honey. It depends on the nectar & pollen that we get this year. I hope we get at least a little bit.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. finnyknits on May 13, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    This is awesome! I’m taking a beekeeping course at a nearby farm next month with the intention of setting up a hive on my property here in Northern CA. I’ll be following your exploits for sure!

    finnyknits’s last blog post.. Adopt a Crop update: I’m a cheater + Big Moment

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  7. Karen on May 13, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    We were examining bees at a Tree Festival last weekend – looking for the queen but she was being elusive. So cute, baby bees. Question – no gloves because ?? That part of the box has none that could sting you?

    Karen’s last blog post.. Clematis Rehab

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    • Susy on May 13, 2009 at 1:05 pm

      You don’t have to wear gloves or special clothing. Mr Chiots sometimes wears the hat sometimes he doesn’t. They’re very gentle bees. The honey bees won’t sting unless they feel threatened. So if you move slowly and are gentle you don’t have to worry too much.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  8. dig this chick on May 13, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    so cool! wow. bees. thanks for the great pics.

    dig this chick’s last blog post.. mama’s day

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  9. warren on May 13, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Hey! That hive tool and white suit are way too clean! We’ve been covered in rain so my bees have been chomping at the bit but they are doing well now for sure! Yours like like they are thriving as well. You should be proud…many beekeepers cannot find an unmarked queen. I never mark mine either…mainly out of laziness. Anyhow, once you get the hang of it, you’ll find her easily with no problem, even unmarked.

    warren’s last blog post.. Pictures of my wife in the bathtub

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  10. ChristyACB on May 15, 2009 at 11:03 am

    That is amazing! I’m so envious you have bees.

    I have noticed this year that the bees are out earlier and that I have more of them. Previous years hardly any were apparent, but this year they seem to be recovering in our area. I planted a lot of attractive nectar plants for them last year so maybe they just have me staked out as a good diner. :)

    ChristyACB’s last blog post.. 2012: Doomsday – The Worst Doomer Movie Ever

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  11. Judy on May 15, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    My sister has her first bee hive set up this year and we are so excited for her. I am hoping that next year I will be able to get a hive also. I’m going to send her to your blog to read this post about your bees.

    Judy’s last blog post.. Yeah! It’s Friday — May 15, 2009

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  12. sarah on May 19, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    I am so happy to have found your blog again. I was reading and then lost it.
    Best of luck with your bees, looks like everything is going just perfect for you! I am gathering links for beekeepers with blogs, can I put a link to your blog on my beehousehives blog?

    sarah’s last blog post.. Look out Amy Butler & Kaffe Fassett

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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