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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Carnage Of The Newbees

Carnage Of The Newbees

We have been trying not to pry into the lives of the bees in our hive so much.  We are hoping that it helps to reduce aggressiveness, but it leads to other issues.  We skipped one week and allowed two weeks of interference free building.  That made the bees attach the comb to the observation windows and the walls.    We caused a lot of distress by scraping off the comb and moving them around, then expanding by three slots.  Then for some reason we thought we'd leave them be and left them for another two weeks.  Mistake...

Bee combs through observation window
The bees attached the nearest comb to the remnants of the scraped comb, which twisted them and then the twist was exaggerated with each new comb added.

Pro Tip:  Check the comb regularly, and add additional slats before you think the bees actually need them.  Maybe a bee pro can give us some additional advice?

An Inside Look

We took a few shots of the inside as we were trying to scrape the old comb and move the slats around
Bee comb attaching to separator board
to free the comb from the sidewalls.  The bees also started attaching comb to the separator board, which we really want to keep from being attached in order to continue expansion as needed.

Comb No 12

Comb 12 is pretty small, loaded with bees.  The number of bees in the hive is pretty amazing, as seen through the observation window picture.

Comb No 10
Comb 10, was built up and full of honey.  We tried to scrape it off of the side walls and ended up wrecking a few of the combs in the process.  We couldn't really salvage any of it to give back to the bees and kind of felt bad about wreaking so much havoc on their works.

Comb No 9

Comb 9 pulled away when we were scraping it from the sidewall where the observation window is.  It is also loaded with some very light honey.

The bees were very aggravated from our inspection and complete invasion of their hive.  At this point, the pictures slowed down and we focused on getting the work done rather than taking photos.

By the time we were done, we made a complete mess in the hive, got honey all over the place and the bees were understandably upset.

The bees were trying to recapture the honey from the comb that was removed and we could see several bees stinging the gloves in their last act of defiance (the BESTOPE® Beekeeping Gloves are awesome, we never got stung on the skin of our hands, the leather took all the hits).

After so much carnage, we closed up the hive, then left the bowl outside for the bees to recollect as much as they could.  Come night time, there was not much activity on the bowl of honey and
Cleaned up honey and comb
comb and we brought it inside.  It was cleaned up and tastes very sweet.  We'll be using it in a baking recipe soon.  I'm sure we have at least 1/2 cup of very light honey.

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