May 24, 2012 Hive Check

Things did not look good this morning when I took a look at the bottom board of my hive.  The first thing I noticed was an accumulation of debris sprinkling the floor and about ten dead bees (at least they weren’t moving and looked to be dead at the time).  I took a long stick and slid it inside to rake them out into a plastic cup.  All but one were drones.  I was also surprised by the lack of attention I got from any guard bees.  No one came out to take a look.

My morning schedule didn’t allow me to linger, so I decided to open the hive when I returned in the afternoon and about 1:00 p.m., I got my smoker going.  The sun was warm overhead and as I put on my beesuit, I thought perhaps I might try going without.  It is hot and the hat is cumbersome.   I left it on though and gave a puff of smoke into the entrance before opening the hive top.  Since the bees seemed really calm, I set the smoker down and removed the inner cover next.  I could see activity towards the top part of the frames and gently removed one of the outer frames, so I could slide over the others and take a look for brood comb near the center.

Here is what I saw:






Since I’m a “new-bee” beekeeper, my first thoughts are that I saw more drones than I wanted to see. The drones coming out are really fat, so fat that they can’t fly.  I am finding them on the ground where the ants are taking them away as fast as they can catch them.

My queen isn’t marked, but I think I saw her when I was inspecting the hive.  There were capped cells, uncapped cells with larvae inside, and cells with new bees exiting.  The ones I saw coming out were drones.  I suspect that my next step will be to requeen, but may take a second look tomorrow and examine things a little more closely.  Intuition tells me something is off though!



I love beetles and keep bees! In my free time, I enjoy photography (mostly bugs) and documenting insect species found on San Juan Island. I have limited availability for local, onsite beekeeping consultation and hive inspection, honey bee removal/swarm collection as well as phone/skype consultation. Contact me at Member Washington State Beekeepers Association
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to May 24, 2012 Hive Check

  1. Harry Kuheim says:

    I can’t see any eggs…seems like a lot of Drone cells. Stop by my place and take a look at my bees to get a view of more bees…bring a veil.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s