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The Beehive at 20 Days

Ok, we installed the bees into the hive 20 days ago and now we are just going to check up on it to see if everything is ok. We can get a sense for whether the hive is healthy or not and how things are going.

I have a video for this at the bottom of the page.

This is part of my series on starting up a beehive. You can follow along with that whole series right here: Starting up a beehive from day 1


Bees outside the hive

There are a few things we are going to look at and I will show you some neat tools for beekeeping.

The first thing you should do is just look around the hive. Do a general inspection. See if there are any obvious problems like mice, or sign of an insect infestation.

Are the bees moving at a steady pace in and out of the hive? During daylight hours of course. That would be a good sign of healthy activity.


Remove the cover

So crank up the smoker and let's take a look in the hive.

Get a feel for the mood of the bees. Are they docile? Are they getting agitated?

It is quite ok at this point to only do a partial opening of the hive. Or even to just leave them alone for a while.

Starting their new home can be stressful for them. But, if they are healthy chances are good that they are too busy to worry about anything other than work.

If you notice the spray bottle you have a good eye. That has some sugar water in it. It is used to spray down the bees. The sugar coating tends to keep them busy cleaning each other. It's a neat little trick. And I believe it trains them to look forward to you opening the hive.

If somebody opened the windows on my house and started throwing chocolate bars inside I would probably look forward to each time it happened. LOL

Bees on the hive

This is what you should see. In the bottom box they are clustered together and building comb.

Let's pull some frames out.

Pry apart the frames

Those frames in the center may be stuck together so you may have to use a pry tool to separate them. Do this gently. Try not to jar them loose with a snapping action. Snapping and banging can alarm the bees.


Removing some frames

So, let's pull some frames out. Here we can get a look at the tools I mentioned earlier. The tool pulling out the frame is a frame grabber. And on the left of the hive there you can see a couple of frames resting in a metal rack. That is a very handy little tool called a perch tool.

More about these tools right here


A frame with bees and comb

Pull those central frames out. You should see something like this. It is half full. Comb is being built and some of it is capped off. Good sign and they are doing good work. At this point in time you should see 2-4 frames like this. It is a good sign that they are working hard and getting things done.


Brood cells

Those capped cells are brood cells. They will be the new batch of worker bees. So, the queen is laying eggs and everything is moving along.

Let's see if we can spot the queen.


The queen bee

And there she is with the dot on her back.


The cover

So that's it. We have inspected the hive and looked for any potential problems. We found that they are building comb and the queen is laying eggs. All looks good. Close up the hive!


The hive

That's it! Stay tuned. We will follow this hive throughout the year. More videos and tutorials coming.


The Video is here:



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