Monday, March 30, 2009

First 2009 Inspection - Almost

Date: March 28, 2009
Time: Afternoon
Weather: clearing, windy, 70s, behind cool front w/ lots of rain

The bees survived the winter and are looking good, only no honey in the combs I inspected. There was eggs, larvae, and capped brood. There was pollen, but no honey. I observed a few hive beetles on the combs. There was a good population of bees. They were for the most part calm considering they had nothing to eat. My son took a couple stings and a worker or two got after my wife, so, since it was a rather windy day, I decided to close her up about 1/2 way through. I did not see the queen, but the hive looked healthy.

I took some sugar candy and put it in the hive behind the last combs. I may check it today and replace with just 2:1 sugar water. I also need to take care of those hive beetles. As always, I've got to keep a close check for ants. Lots of pollen coming in, but apparently not much nectar, yet.

Here's my 2009 to-buy list:
  • Smoker - borrowed one for Saturday's inspection
  • Veil - my homemade one is a little hard to see through
  • Hive tool - not absolutely necessary, but handy to have
Plans for this season (not necessarily in order of preference):
  • Possibly make a split
  • Catch a swarm or two
  • Harvest my first honey
  • Look into joining our local beekeeper's club
  • Learn, learn, learn
I may post a link to a little bit of video of this inspection also. It will somewhat demonstrate how to detach comb that is attached to the sloped sides of the tbh. I used a long carving knife and, so far, it has worked well. You may also have noted a little torn piece of comb in one of the corners. Any cross-comb usually gets trimmed or straightened if possible and the bees just keep on building.


  1. Instead of buying an expensive smoker try using a 99cent misting spray bottle with 1 to 1 sugar syrup. It works very well on our Long Hives and Langs.

  2. That's some great looking comb!

    I'll second the spray bottle. I'm using 3:1 water/cider vinegar mix, but I have no which is better.

    Same with a hive tool. I'm using a painter's tool and from what I can tell, it's not only cheaper than a proper hive tool, it's more versatile.


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