When I received my bees a week ago, the bee man told me to check the hives in one week to see how they were doing.
My bee hives have 10 frames each. My starter hive came with 5 frames filled with brood (eggs, larvae, and pupae in different stages of development) and 5 empty frames. The reason for checking was to see if the bees were laying eggs and moving to the empty frames.
My dad wanted to help.
One of the most important tools to have while checking the hive is the smoker.
Puffing smoke into the entrance calms the guard bees so they don’t send the worker bees in the hive a signal to attack. It also triggers the bees to gorge themselves on honey which keeps their mind off of you.
Keep in mind I am a newbie at this. I have no idea if I’m doing this right, but Dad seemed to think we were.
After a couple of good puffs at the entrance, I took off the outer cover and then the inner cover. I blew some more smoke over the frames and the bees did retreat. As you can see, the 5 frames full of brood are in the middle.
Using the hive tool, he removed one of the new frames. You can tell by the look on his face he was excited to see so many bees on it.
I thought I would be frightened by all those bees, but I was completely mesmerized. I could have watch them for much longer, but I was advised by the bee man to just spend a few minutes on each hive.
To me, everything looked good. Lots of bees on the new frames and the older frames. I did not see the queen, but I did not spend much time looking. Bee man said I might need another brood chamber in a few weeks.
That’s a good thing.