Monday, May 9, 2011

Our First Hive Inspection!

Last Thursday, we opened up the hive to check and see if the queen had been released and to see if she had begun laying eggs . . . the answers to both of these questions were 'yes' and 'yes'! Things are moving along just as they should so far! (At least to our inexperienced eye, they are. :)


It was a pretty amazing experience to look into the hive and at the frames and see what the bees have been busy doing since we installed them just five days prior . . . drawing out beautiful honeycomb and filling it with pollen, nectar and sugar syrup as well. The honeycomb was especially incredible as it is so perfectly and exactly designed and constructed. What wonderful evidence the tiny honeybee is of the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator God!


The hive inspection itself went pretty well and quickly, as we didn't want to leave the hive open for long. And we're already looking forward to the next inspection . . .
it is going to be so interesting to see the changes that will have taken place in the hive by then!

Some of our busy bees . . . the eggs were found on this frame!

14 comments:

  1. How exciting to see the changes happening within the hive. I've always felt that the honeycomb is a major work of God, it is so perfect.

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  2. Oh Sarah, what a miracle!! How wonderful to be able to see that. In just such a short period of time, to know they have freed the queen, laid eggs, created honeycomb, gathered pollen . . . it's just so wondrous!

    It will be exciting for you, I am sure, to see the bees from your own hive pollenating your flowers and vegetables and fruit trees. I am praising God for His wondrous creation this morning! :)

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  3. Okay, a few questions from the novice, for the novice:-)--what does "drawing out" honeycomb mean? And did they create ALL of those hexagonal little shapes (i.e honeycomb) themselves? What did the frame look like when you first put it in? I can see from your previous post that it looks pale yellow, but was it just flat and bare, or was there some kind of coating on it?

    The picture of you (and your dad?) is interesting...from this angle, it looks as though your beekeeper hat is filled with bees!:-)

    ~ Betsy

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  4. So much honeycomb in just 5 days! It is perfect isn't it? Indeed amazing evidence of our creator.
    I am wondering..is it just because the bees were calm that they didn't fly away or bother you? They all seemed happy to be where they were. ♥
    This is such a neat way to learn about bees...I am glad you are posting these updates. :)

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  5. Truly amazing! Great pictures too!
    Thanks for sharing.

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  6. It is exciting, Elizabeth! I am so looking forward to seeing how much has changed by the next inspection, and then before long, it will be time to add the next hive body! I would agree with what you shared about the honeycomb . . . what an incredible creation of God it is.

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  7. It really is, Miss Linda! It just amazes me how thousands of honeybees can know and do all of the different tasks that need to be done in the hive. And after reading so much about what goes on 'behind the scenes', it is even more incredible to me as I watch them actually carrying out these different tasks.

    It has been exciting to see the honeybees on our flowers . . . and it will be really nice once things in the garden start blooming. No more hand-pollinating! :) Yes, indeed praise the Lord for His wondrous creation. All of nature does indeed bring praise and glory to His name!

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  8. Well, this novice will do her best to answer your questions, Betsy! :) Each of the frames already had in them a thin sheet of plastic foundation that is coated with beeswax. This foundation already had the ‘beginnings’ of the honeycomb pattern on it which helps the bees get started (there is also the option of simply putting in an empty frame and letting the bees build their own foundation – that’s a little more tricky, though.)

    So in the photos of the frames, what is seen on the outer edges of the frames is the foundation that the frames came with. Then in about 2/3’s of the frame in the center portion, the bees have built their own honeycomb using the already existing foundation as the base – and that is what is meant by ‘drawing out the foundation/honeycomb.’ Eventually all of the frames will be drawn out in the bees' own honeycomb which will be used over and over again to house brood, and honey and pollen stores. I hope that all makes sense!

    In the photo you mentioned, it does look like there are bees inside my veil! Thankfully, that wasn't the case. :)

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  9. Isn’t it amazing, Ellen?! I should clarify, though, that not all that is seen in the photo of the frames is the bees’ own honeycomb as the frames start out with a foundation in them (I should take a photo of it sometime to share here . . . that would explain it better than I ever could with words!)

    In part of the hive, the bees had built some comb of their own which wasn’t started on the foundation. We didn’t want them building it where they were so we took it out, and it was simply amazing to look at and to study. This honeycomb, as well as what the bees have built on the foundation in the frames, is indeed perfect . . . as you shared, what amazing evidence it is of our Creator.

    I am glad that you are enjoying these posts, and I look forward to sharing more of them as things progress with the hive!

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  10. It is indeed, Anne! Simply amazing. I am glad that you enjoyed the post and photos!

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  11. Your honey bees look beautiful, Sarah. For some reason, I always have viewed bees as potential stingers, but after seeing your photos, I appreciate more the wonder of them. I can guess you are looking forward even now to harvesting your first honey from them!

    Blessings,
    Anna

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  12. I would agree with you, Anna, regarding the honeybees. :) After getting these ones and working with them the past few weeks, I have a whole new perspective on honeybees now! Much like yours with not viewing them just as potential stingers. :) They are fascinating and amazing little creatures!

    And yes, we are looking forward to being able to harvest our first honey from them. :)

    Thank you for both of your comments, Anna, as it was so nice to hear from you again!

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  13. That is so amazing to see such a group of bees all together. They are so neat! Did I tell you that last year we witnessed a bee swarm? It was so very interesting. I sure wished I had my camera. They were going across the pasture and then into the woods. So neat.

    Enjoy your bees!

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  14. It is amazing, Joy! Honeybees are such fascinating little creatures. How neat to be able to see the bee swarm! I am sure you all enjoyed that. I'd like to see one sometime . . . but only as long as it's not our bees! :)

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Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)