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Hive Day 3

April 28, 2015

Day 3 of the hive means checking that the queen is free and then evaluating comb progress, notably making sure the comb under construction is in alignment with the top bars.

The queen cage is hanging on the yellow strap under the bar; she was free and doing her queen thing somewhere within the masses of workers so I removed the empty cage…

After this, it was time to slowly pull back bars until I found comb. As you can see the smallest comb wasn’t exactly lining up; this would create a mess down the road if left as is. Straight comb begets straight comb, crooked or crossed comb begets hell because the whole hive with be one connected jumble of comb. Better to realign a couple smallish combs that 80 lbs of honey and brood filled comb sometime later this summer.


From another angle the issue is more obvious:


I fixed this by straightening the comb then pinching it on to the spline of the bar, and started to check the larger combs.

Then, “OOPS”… this ham handed beekeeper must have loosened comb removing the queen cage, because about that time one plopped:


The bees weren’t pleased with me at that point, and truthfully I felt awful, like I had let them down. The good news was the bees had begun putting nectar and pollen in the comb, so at least this part was encouraging, i.e.that the queen was doing her thing and the workers were coordinating.
I removed the comb (it was blocking the door and might have been on the queen for all I knew) and put things back together. I spent some time afterwards on you-tube watching and seeing how others handle comb issues, because I was pretty sure I’d have to deal with this again soon.

How soon?

As much as I hate to keep meddling, I need to go back in and verify that this early adjustment was effective in aligning future comb.

So I’ll report again soon on what I discovered on day 6…

6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 28, 2015 7:01 am

    Bruce, it’s great that you’ve become a bee keeper. I understand that bees have become an endangered species. Good luck.

    • April 28, 2015 9:20 am

      Not endangered by any stretch but they have had their issues over the last decade or two.

  2. Bruce permalink
    April 28, 2015 7:27 am

    I know that bees are valuable to a garden, but personally I would prefer to raise worms for safety reasons..

    • April 28, 2015 7:29 am

      I don’t know- I hear worms can be pretty aggressive too. Sleep with one eye open.

  3. April 28, 2015 4:34 pm

    Sherlock Holmes retired to be a beekeeper. Just sayin’.

  4. Brent Eamer permalink
    March 20, 2016 6:05 am

    Hello from Prince Edward Island , again. Have not read any updates in a while, hope all is well

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