I inspected the hive again yesterday. The bees seemed very agitated and made a great fuss. They run around quite a bit and a big clump fell onto the ground while I was holding a frame. When I checked my gloves later I found 7 or 8 stings. Don’t know why they were so annoyed. Maybe it was the weather, or maybe my gloves had been stung last time and I hadn’t noticed. I’ve washed the gloves now and I’m thinking about buying nitrile gloves to use instead of leather.
So, what progress? Well, the bees have now drawn out some foundation on all but 2 of the 11 frames. I saw honey and brood in 2 of the new frames so that’s progress. I saw a bee about to emerge – it would be great to be able to observe them for longer but I’m always anxious to get them back in the box so they can go about their business of making enough bees to get safely through the winter ahead.
The photo is not the best, but you can see capped brood in the lower left and empty brood cells where bees have emerged. In the top right is an area of lighter coloured capped honey cells.
I’ve inspected the hive 3 times now and have yet to see the queen. I suppose that isn’t too unusual for a beginner.
There are some great videos on Youtube (as well as some rubbish) and I particularly like this one of a very calm beekeeper and his docile bees. Wish mine were as placid. It’s worth watching all the way through to see the way he handles the queen and marks her with a number. No gloves and no stings.