The queen bee has been busy in my backyard beehive. Looks like the population is way up and, in fact, the hive may be splitting given the activity outside after work hours—8 p.m. last night. This means a new queen is on the scene—only one queen per hive.
I took the top of the hive off to check the “super” which is above the “brood.” The queen is in the brood—eight frames packed with honeycombs on the first floor—while the super is the second floor which is nearly full. The bees fill the combs from the middle on out to the sides. In another week or so, I’ll add a third floor—second super–which will take me to harvest time in August. FYI: when I took the top off, there were hundreds of bees “stuck” to the lid, so the bees you see here are about half of the workers at the top of the super. I put the lid back on after about 30-seconds since the “guards” were starting to get restless.
I have a friend, Gene, a veteran beekeeper, who has been providing me wise counsel. So, even though I’ve read a great deal about beekeeping, I find that talking to someone who has been handling bees for 30 years works best.