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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!
Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Look at Topsy

Today I ran by Valerie's to check on Topsy.  At my last check there was some brood but not a lot.

First I looked at the hive entrances which had signs of nosema the last time I visited.  The hive looked just the same - no new nosema on the side of the hive:

















Inside the hive looked really healthy with lots of bees and lots of capped brood (about nine frames).  The combs were all built out and looked good.

















On the 10th bar, the comb was heavy with honey and attached to old wax on the bottom of the hive.  As I pulled on the top bar, the comb tore off.  I set it back together again, but next time I visit that hive, I am harvesting that honey comb so that I can remove the wax on the hive bottom and can help the hive make progress.

I didn't see any new brood or eggs until I got to the 11th top bar and there were eggs and c-shaped larvae.

This hive is healthy and will have a problem if I don't get the honeycomb that is stuck to the bottom out of that hive.  Maybe I'll try for that on Sunday this weekend.

I like the top bar concept but find the hive really difficult to inspect.  The bees seem happy but I'm not sure I am.  Maybe if it were a smaller hive, I'd like it better;  maybe if I had ever seen the queen I'd like it better; maybe if I hadn't had such a hard time getting it off the ground, I 'd like it better.  As it is, I don't love working on it or inspecting it.

I also haven't figured out how to make repairs.  In the Langstroth if the bees do cross comb, a huge rubber band takes care of all my troubles.  In this hive rubber bands don't work.

Having foundationless frames in a Langstroth box makes me happier.  Maybe I like structure more than the top bar allows me.  

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