Nearly a week has gone by since the bees released their queen. By now we should see signs of egg laying, and in some cells, larvae beginning to take shape. The worker bees should be gathering pollen and making food from sugar water (until they can collect nectar). This week they’ve gone through close to a quart of sugar water a day—a good sign.
A busy hive greeted us. We saw new comb being made, and cells filled with food and pollen. Frame by frame we looked for the queen (marked helpfully with a red dot for easier identification…when the bee population swells to summer strength, identifying her in the mass will be difficult, even given her larger size). And then we found her, on a frame near the center of the hive, working harmoniously with the others.
Examining the frames swarming with bees, through our mesh bee hats, we have a difficult time making out egg cells. To help, we took pictures of each frame and enlarged them on the computer….and saw signs of new life. All is well.
This Saturday we will pick up the bees for our second colony and install them, and begin this process again.