Monday, May 4, 2009

We have brood!!!

It's now been 15 days since we installed the bees. We went out tonight with a fresh batch of sugar water planning to fill them up. But when we took a look inside.... we don't think they need any more supplemental feeding!!!

We used our smoker for the first time so we'd feel comfortable pulling all the frames and really getting a good look. There was some comb built on all eight frames. One frame we saw where they had capped some honey (or soon to be honey). As we moved further to the center we started seeing eggs inside some of the cells. Then we saw capped cells and even many larva in uncapped cells. Click the picture on the right to get a bigger view and you will see the larva which look like little white worms.

We also saw a few capped cells that were larger and probably contain drones. We have not seen any live drones yet, but these are the "boys". The hive will produce many of them and their sole purpose is to mate with queens. Sounds like a rough life.

So, this was a really cool visit tonight. The queen seems to really be doing her job well and the hive seems healthy. Since we now have new bees on the way (called brood) we decided there was no more need for supplemental feeding and thus pulled the sugar water feeder out. It was completely empty which means they have gone through a total of 2 gallons of the stuff in the last two weeks. In its place we put in two empty frames so that a full 10 are now there. Exciting times!!!

Now what? I guess we wait. We do not have a clear plan of what is next but since they seem to be doing great and will soon have many new bees flying around we've started talking about enlarging their home. Any advice from readers out there? Do we add on another deep body next or go right for a smaller super with queen excluder between? From most of the catalogs they often show 2 deep bodies with 2 supers on top for honey harvesting. We'll have to do some research and think about what we want to do. I can almost taste the honey already.

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