Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Bees Are Capping Brood

Adam told me he would NOT mess with his bees or open up their hives, until Friday. Ha.
Today he checked to see if they were capping brood -- in other words, if they were covering up the comb cells where the queen has laid her baby bees. The bees who tend to the babies are (you guessed it!) "nurse bees." They feed the larvae. If you look closely in these little holes, you'll see some white bee larvae, curled up in a "fetal" position. In other little holes, the bees have already capped the larvae; they put wax over the larvae cell after they've adequately fed the baby bee, and let it grow.
Adam loves to look at his bees. Here he inspects one of the many frames of comb that the bees have drawn in the past 10 days.
Look at this frame. The bees have drawn a double comb. This is rather inconvenient for Adam, and sometimes this makes the frames stick together.
Adam removed a couple of loose pieces of comb, with some "bee bread" in them. The bee bread is the dark orange - it looks almost like ear wax. The bees make it out of pollen and nectar. They feed it to the larvae. Nursery supper!
On this frame, see the lighter orange in the center? That's brood.  See the darker orange around it? That's bee bread. The white cells have brood in them too. The brood cells get darker and darker, as the larvae are fed. The bees reuse the brood cells over and over, and they darken more. Later those cells may have honey in them also, after the larvae have all hatched out.
The girls like to see the bees too.
Adam restacked his hives, and put new sugar water in there for the bees to drink.
Then we strolled back to the garden. Here's an early strawberry.  Sorry that my camera just could not focus on it.
And the first radish.  Adam said the dirt tasted a bit gritty :)  And it's not hot enough for him yet.  But it's a radish! The first thing we've eaten from the garden this year!

1 comment:

  1. I love your buzzy bees. Maybe I'll plant some radishes. I wonder how they'll do here in the high country.

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