About a week after putting your new bees in their hive, you’ll want to check in on them to make sure everybody is happy. Well, they’re actually generally quite happy without visitors, but we need to know what’s going on in the hive, so get your bee suit on and let’s get out to the hive!
You’ll also want to bring your smoker. Smoke makes the bees think their hive is on fire so they focus on saving their home instead of watching and attacking you. We had paper, sticks, and burlap burning in our smoker.
Our sweet bee friend that let us watch him hive his new bees before doing our own also invited us out for his one-week hive check-ups, so that’s where these pictures came from. He had a couple of extra suits, but the bees were generally docile that day anyway, so we could have all hung around in our regular clothes and probably been fine, but I’m just not that brave yet.
The purpose of the one week hive checkup is to make sure your queen is alive and laying eggs. That’s pretty much it. We also placed our tenth frame in the hive while we had it open. Here’s us checking a frame for eggs:
The eggs look like tiny grains of rice in the bottom of the comb cells. They’re not easy to see on a white background, so it’s nice if your foundation is one of the other available colors: black or yellow. These pieces of comb were being built by the bees in between the frames we had left a space between and are called burr comb. They needed removed so we could fit the last frame in, so I used them for some close up pictures.
And for your beehive trivia, fresh beeswax in a new hive is white, not yellow. The bright orange stuff is pollen, probably from dandelions. Learn something new every day.
Our hive checkup went really well. We had eggs and sweet husband only got stung once! On to honey! :)