This week’s flashback Friday turns our attention to a much more recent beekeeping episode: Friday, August 28th! Senior Beekeeper Mehreen, Junior Beekeeper Liam, 3D-printing researcher Pri and I were able to take care of the hives and see some really cool events in the lives of our honeybees (and photograph them, too)!
We looked at Hives 9 through 11, as show in the diagram below.
Mehreen was very happy to see that Hive nine was doing well!
Liam helped Mehreen inspect each frame in the supers, while Pri took diligent notes of the quality and quantity of each substance on each frame.
It was a very hot and sunny day, even through 7 pm, when we began beekeeping in the evening!
…and we also got to see bee bread, which is mushier, packed pollen.
If looking closely, one may observe several honeybees with a red-tinted abdomen, which indicates that those particular bees were fed pollen and nectar from certain flower sources, and the other bees with typical black-and-yellow-tinted abdomens were not fed the same quantities of that red pollen and nectar.
Never seen a young honeybee? Worry no more, for Mehreen points one out to us with her hive tool in the picture below. One may notice that it is smaller and whiter than its big sisters.
Bee-hold the queen, discernible thanks to her elongated abdomen and baby blue marker applied by our beekeepers! Check out the progression of the effects of smoke on the honeybees! Smoking the top of a super allows us to pick up frames without injuring the bees or ourselves. This is due to the bees believing that the smoke is an alarm signal, indicating to them that they should move, whether onto the sides of frames or elsewhere.
One of the bees that fled the smoke ended up on one of our weights, which we place on top of the hives to prevent them from opening or toppling over, especially in terrible weather. I was able to get a clear close-up picture of this one bee, which was exposing its proboscis.
While cataloging the contents of each frame in hives nine through 11, we nearly forgot to apply powdered sugar to the hives! To recollect, beekeepers may apply confectioner’s sugar to hives, thus covering the bees in the stuff. The bees will lick each other clean, thereby removing the harmful Varroa destructor mites that hide in their crevices and suck their blood.
When looking at more frames, we observed drone cells and worker bee cells.
In the picture below, a wee worker bee peeks its head out for the first time, about to emerge from its cell!
Hope you all had a lovely week, and have an even lovelier weekend!