On Friday I witnessed an amazing sight, one that frightened me, mostly because of ignorance, but also had me captivated. I went in the check on Ted our playful little rabbit, as I walked into the room, which has a direct eye shot to the hive, I saw a large number of bees flying and circling outside the hive. My first thoughts are the bees are about to swarm or we have a robbing situation on our hands, either way, we had trouble. I grabbed my phone and walked towards the hive. As I was recording I noticed the circling was methodical, not chaotic for a robbing situation and noticed no fighting between bees. The swarming theory was still a very real possibility but it just didn't feel that's what it was. I walked away to do some digging and no longer than 5 minutes later the circling had stopped and the hive was back to its normal pace. After a little more digging, what I had witnessed was new foragers orientating themselves. In a way, I still had the thought of a swarm in the back of my head.
That was until today's inspection.
Today is Sunday so that eagerness to get into the hive was eating at us. They still have a long way to go but the hive seems to be doing better than expected. Our top feeder was just about cleaned out, there was about a quarter left, after a week's time. This makes sense since the bees were just introduced to their new home last week. They needed time to learn where their new food sources were.
The top box had 2 frames of drawn comb, the other 3, untouched. The next time we open the hive, we should these 3 frames starting to be filled with comb. In the 2 frames with comb, there was nectar and a few capped brood cells, but no other eggs. They should start to use this box for honey storage. The bottom box had 2 new frames that were added a week before the install. They had drawn a full comb on one, and were working on the other. We saw eggs and larvae, then spotted the Queen for a quick second on one of the inner frames. Seeing this and the busy activity of the girls, we decided not to disrupt them any further and closed her up. The girls are so calm, I was standing next to the hive, without any protection, as Matt was inspecting. Later on, we cracked her open again when our friend came over. None of us had protective gear on and the girls didn't pay us any attention. They also got some Reiki healing from our friend, who placed her hands on top of the hive, channeling energy to within. She's said animals can pick up on Reiki healing almost better than humans, and since bees communicate in the means of vibration, it would make sense that they could pick up on vibrations from the transfer of energy.
We saw exactly what we wanted to see today, brood, the Queen, nectar, and pollen. Now, they just have to increase their numbers so that they can have adequate numbers going into the Winter. Also, with the addition of a couple hive beetle traps (one in each box), the girls should have a better chance than the first hive.