Well, we learned some interesting lessons at the bee hives today. Number 1 - you sweat in all kinds of places when wearing a bee suit in upper eighty degree temperatures while standing in bright sunlight. Hoo wee! Number 2 - Olga is coming along rather splendidly!
She had about 70% of her frames drawn out with comb! The above photo is one of the center frames that we checked last week that had eggs in it. Now the eggs are larvae and the workers are capping them so they can pupate in peace. You wouldn't believe how heavy a frame full of drawn out comb, brood, and honey feels! This is what a good frame of brood looks like according to the books and classes--what do you know, Olga is finally agreeing with the books--and exceeding Kitty's hive in comb construction. Kitty was a full two frames short of the Olga hive.
That's not to say that Olga still isn't showing her individuality. There is some unique comb construction going on, but I believe that is more my fault for not spacing the frames properly. Above is an example of some of the funky comb from Olga's hive. It's elevated and curled upon itself. They Kitty hive had a little of this as well, but not to the degree of the Olga hive.
For some of the comb, we were able to press down onto the frame, but some of it was out so far out, I had to take it off. I felt a pang of guilt because larvae was inside some of the cells--but it had to be done to insure proper frame spacing in the future. There was also some honey mixed in with the larvae from the removed comb that dripped onto my palm. Mr. Neil, Lorraine, and I took a taste. It had honey flavor, not full honey but the potential for flavorful greatness is there. I felt a surge of pride in our girls.
Here's another shot of some uncapped brood. This larvae will probably be capped off within the next day or two. Imagine, two weeks from now, those gelatinous, squirmy blobs will be just like their sisters above. We did not see either queen today, but we did see lots of eggs in both hives meaning both queens were there, but doing a good job of evading our watchful (albeit sweat covered) gazes.
Both hives are taking advantage of the nectar feeder and of the pollen patties. Kitty's hive has gone into propolis overdrive. The flat things in the above photo are the pollen patties and the little bits of tan granules around it are propolis. It's starting to get gooey ad sticky in the hot weather. I have a feeling it's gonna get messy later this summer in the Kitty Hive.
Here's a photo of the workers at the Kitty hive entrance. Notice the yellow around the hole--that's pollen that has fallen off and collected from returning worker bees. It's interesting to observe the more territorial behaviors today. With the Olga hive, we have a very limited time before we wear out our welcome. They start off quiet, but within five minutes, they start bumping our head masks, warning they are about to sting. The buzzing gets more agitated as well. Kitty gives us a bit more time before warning us off. They are an easy going kingdom--to a point. When they've had enough, they get down to the business of driving you out.