Having been able to hold out for slightly longer than Pete, I decided that 3 weeks was long enough and needed to do a quick check for queen rightness(is she around) and to make sure they where building up.
The first hive inspected was the one the boys have adopted and also the first swarm I acquired. Upon removing the follower board all looked good, fresh comb visible and a few spare bars.
|View into boys hive 9 bars with fresh comb.|
All the bars including the follower had been well and truly stuck in place and this was the same for the rest of the hive. The first 3 combs had just uncapped honey with a spattering of pollen, the next was the edge of the growing brood nest, a nice clump of capped brood with pollen and honey surrounding it, real text book stuff.
|All the family helped, the boys had great fun, photo's courtesy of Jo(Mrs Dave)|
|Start of brood nest, small area of brood in middle|
The further in, the more capped brood, plus uncapped brood in various development stages. Tried looking for eggs but not easy on new comb. Satisfied that the queen was in put the hive back together adding one extra bar.
|Well into brood area this was the last bar out having found out all I needed to know.|
Second hive. Immediately noticed that this hive had less fresh comb, even though it's only 3 days behind the other, that said it all looked good with a similar but smaller version of the first hive.
|View into second hive less comb but still a good build up|
|Good shot showing capped brood and larvae if you look carefully|
Closed it up actually removing a few bars to help them maintain more heat.
Third and final hive. Again less comb built, however these bee's moved into a hive with some old comb and have repaired and are using this, saving them building time. Did get a pleasant surprise, spotted the queen on the last bar to be inspected, she's quite a big girl especially as these bees are smaller than the other hives(and darker).
All in all a successful inspection, with the whole thing only taking up 30-40 mins total, also no need to even spray them, the only time they buzzed up was when I dropped a top bar about 1/8 inch when replacing.
It was quite the family affair looking forward to the next inspection.