Top Bar Beekeeping: First Full Hive Inspection

It’s been a week since we put our 3 lb bee packages in our Top Bar hives. We’ve been watching them through an observation window and filling their sugar water (which they go through one quart every three days!). Saturday was the big day. We lit the smoker for the first time, put on all our protective gear, got our supplys together and went down to our bee yard for the first inspection.

We were looking for the following in our first inspection:

1.) Check the sugar water. They were out. It’s a spring/summer mix, which is a 1:1 ratio of water to organic cane sugar measured by weight.

2.) That the bees had eaten through the candy and let the queens out of their cages.

Queens out… check!

3.) The bees were making straight comb in the right place!

The comb looked perfect. Smart bees! Looks like they liked the top bars and the wax we painted on the point

4.) Look for the presence of the queen (eggs) or find the queen.Β 

Looking for the queen… there she is! Can you see her? She’s marked on her back. Are those eggs or is that sugar water?

Queen’s right in the middle! πŸ™‚ We found the queen in both of our hives. But we couldn’t figure out if we were seeing brood (eggs), sugar water or nectar in the cells. Some of it was capped… we need to do some more research. Can you tell what we’re seeing?

5.) Remove the queen cage.Β 

We got a sharp knife and worked from the bottom up, cutting next to the cage. The knife went through like slicing through butter. Some liquid stuff was was left on the knife… we tasted it… and it tasted just like the sugar water!!! Really?! So our honey is going to be made up of sugar water?! Do you have any experience w/ this?

6.) All’s well, close up the hive! πŸ™‚ Success, the bees are doing what they’re suppose to do. I think I need to plant some more flowering plants for our bees! Maybe next year our clover and rye will come up to get them an early source.

Hip hip hooray, they haven’t left… yet! πŸ™‚

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  1. http://justin says

    can i have some honey?

    • We’ll see how the bees do πŸ™‚ I’m just hoping to keep them alive till next season πŸ™‚

  2. http://jrkjd says

    I love the pictures, Rashel. You guys are doing a great job!

What are you thoughts?