The smoker worked much better this time. I had to restart it once, but it gave a nice amount of smoke to the endeavor. I couldn't tell that it calmed the bees down particularly, but eight centuries of beekeeping lore must be respected!
My goals for going into the hive were:
- See if queens were alive and well
- Find and fix any cross combing
- Remove any burr comb
- Look for eggs, larva, pollen, or nectar cells
I opened Raven first, working from the bar farthest from the entrance and moving forward.
The first bar (closest to the follower board) had a small comb on it.
The second comb was bigger. It had pollen in some of the cells.
The third bar had nectar in a few cells and maybe some were capped at the top. And on the fourth bar was the QUEEN! She was crawling around looking busy. Yahoo!
The fifth bar had lots of comb. Six through 7 had less comb.
I didn't see any eggs, but I did see very cute bee butts sticking out of some of the cells. I guess they were putting pollen or nectar in there. (I need to read up on pollen and nectar!) As I got ready to put the first bar back in the hive, most of the bees had left it, so you could see the comb better.
After I closed up Raven, I opened up Lone Star.
I didn't write down about each bar with Lone Star because I was afraid that I was keeping the hives open too long.
But I found the QUEEN busily walking around on bar 7.
The photo below shows one of the bigger combs.