Sunday, November 13, 2011

Welcome Bees

My two replenished hives have been sitting in the garden for just over a week, so I opened them up to see if all was well and the new queens were laying eggs. I was a little nervous, as I hadn't dealt with bees for a while, but it was fine, the bees were fine, and they made me happy.

Here's a typical brood frame - that's honey in the cells in the top right, 'capped' brood cells in the middle, where the larvae are pupating into bees,  and the brightly coloured orange and yellow cells near the bottom left are full of pollen.

Here's some eggs. Queen Bee has been here recently. On a good day a queen can lay up to 2000 eggs, more than her own body weight.  I'm not entirely sure how that is possible.

Here's some eggs that have hatched into larvae. They will be between 3 and 9 days old, and are being fed by the worker bees.
This is one of my favourite bee activities to see - the freshly made honeycomb. They make wax from special wax glands and build it into these precise hexagonal shapes. I don't know how they do that either.

One of the hives had been very busy, so I added another box for them to expand in to. And then I nearly managed to bung up the shutter button of the camera with propolis, so I decided that that was enough for the day.