Comments 3

Inspecting the brown bee hive

Since I was on a roll I thought I’d check out the brown, top bar hive at my house too.

It was 3 pm on Memorial Day. The temperature was about 65deg, slightly overcast and a bit windy. But I thought it was warm enough for a quick check.

The bees were very busy at the front door. Really the most I have seen. But I’ve been at work mostly on the warm days. I had checked a week ago and seen lots of honey but no babies, so I wanted to get inside and make sure the queen was laying. Fortunately I got some practice at Zenger Farm on Saturday.

See the bee with the yellow pollen pants? That is one indication that there is brood. They need to feed them a combination of pollen and honey to give them protein and carbs.

The first frame I pulled out was all new, white wax. Now there are 8 frames filled with comb and 4 more empty ones for them to expand into. That frame had some nectar and lots of different colors of pollen, including some that looked almost black.

The next frame was also white, but it had almost half of it’s cells full of capped brood. Yay! We (I invited some neighbors to watch) also got to see some white, c-shaped larva in their cells.

I picked up a third frame just to get another look. This one too had lots of capped brood. So in another week or so there will be lots of new bees. Such a relief to know that they are on track to being a healthy hive.

I put it all back together again to let them get back to work and stay warm.


  1. Pingback: Bees need water too | awakening to heal

  2. Thanks for mentioning the positive aspects of Himalayian blackberries. The first site I checked was a “how to control this invasive ‘weed’ put out by the State of Oregon. It seems as if there is a war against many of the flowers the honey bee needs to survive. No wonder it’s in so much trouble.
    I wanted to leave a “like” on your page but couldn’t figure out how…(I’m not on Facebook, having been warned off by my adult kids)
    Looks like you have a top bar hive. Cool.

    • Cat says

      Hi Pat,
      Glad you are appreciating the Blackberries too. Certainly they are an opportunistic plant that needs to be managed in Oregon, but like so many weeds they have lots to offer and teach us.
      Some of my other favorite “invasive species” are Dandelion, Poke, Hawthorne and even St. John’s Wort. People have used them for centuries as medicinal herbs or food and the bees absolutely love them.
      I just watched your video about your bee beard hive. That is gorgeous! Wow. Thanks for sharing.

      p.s I’ll look into the “like” button options.

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