A little over a week ago, we moved some bees that had been captured from a swarm into a new brood box. At the time, for expediency, we dropped the partially combed frames into the new brood box and then let them settle down. On top of the brood box we placed a super with frames (plus foundation) and on top of that, a feeder super.
Today, Saturday 6th Aug 2016, we did our first full hive inspection.
We still need to identify the queen and check the hive for general strength and quality. Most of the frames in the brood box did not have foundation and being a very warm late summer day, we worked away with a calm group of bees. Removing propolis as we went. Turning the frames this way and that trying to find the queen.
We had most of a comb drop and fall against the side of the hive ending up on the floor by the hive. Working a little quicker now, still trying to locate the queen we managed to drop a second comb onto the floor. So we had honey, frames and mashed up bees all over the place with a lot of the bees around the hive behaving in a very ticked off manner.
We closed up the hive and managed to get a prepared frame with foundation in to replace one of the broken ones. Today we learned a lot of lessons.
1) When transferring bees to a new hive, have the frames fitted with foundation as it stops catastrophic episodes later.
2) Identify the queen as early as you can, mark her and possibly clip her wings.
3) Be prepared for such emergencies, have something aside for dropped material, water smoke etcetera.
4) Have a practiced plan in place so that when a hive inspection goes astray, it can be quickly and safely closed up disturbing the bees as little as is needed.
Today we learned a few lessons in real time, and the experience gained is invaluable.
In order to assist the colony to draw out the comb, we have been giving them sugar water for about three or four days, sadly they have drawn out comb and then filled it with faux honey. We have some evidence of larvae and eggs so we know the queen is about somewhere.
I will try and get a picture or two up to complete this entry.
Kizz and Fem.