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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a!
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Topsy Check

Today Jeff and I did a quick Topsy check over lunch. We hadn't opened this hive since spring came around. First thing we both noticed was that there were signs of bee poop around both entrances. This could mean nosema or it could mean desperate release after the cold weather. In any event, we documented it with a photo and will see if it's worse when we return.



More bee diarrhea around the entry hole.



First we pulled up the honey comb. Losts of beautiful new wax. Some was cross-combed and we broke it off and tried to straighten it out.



You might remember that we put some old comb into the hive to make it smell attractive to the bees. We tried to lift this one honey comb and found that the bees had barely attached it to the top bar. They had attached it to the sides and to the old comb in the bottom of the hive. We didn't try to move this but we did remove all the old comb except this one piece from the hive bottom.

I don't know what to do with this errant comb - especially since they are storing honey in it.



The first comb at the beginning of the hive was being used for honey storage.



The second comb and several others contained brood and young larvae. We didn't see the queen and in the glare of the 1 PM sun, we couldn't see eggs, but obviously the queen is laying and building up her numbers.



On the down side of things, we saw 2 hive beetles and killed one wax moth larvae. In this photo magnified, I can see two bees with DWV (deformed wing virus) which is vectored by the varroa mite, but I don't see any varroa on the backs of any of the bees.  We also (on the down side) still at some point need to deal with the errant comb - maybe we just harvest it so the bees have room to expand the brood nest.
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