June 27th: Opened Up the Hive

At this point, I have two 10-frame boxes.  On the bottom is the original deep brood box in which I first placed the NUC on May 10th.  This is a box I got from another club member along with some plastic-cell foundation frames that had a little bit of old drawn comb on it.  The second box is a cypress, unpainted, medium-depth box.  In it are 6 new plastic-cell foundation frames and 4 new foundationless frames that I created by glueing split-down paint stir sticks into the top groove.

I opened the hive this evening, including taking off the top box and setting it aside so that I could look in the bottom brood box.  I did not smoke the bees, nor did I wear protection.  When I cracked the top box loose from the bottom box, the bees immediately started making a different sound; less of a buzz and more of a growl.  “ERRRRRR.”  I got stung, once, for the first time, right on the neck.

Next time I am going to try using the smoker.

Here is the original foundationless frame, which, by now, has been in the hive for 14 days:

6:27:15 - 01

Here is a plastic-cell foundation frame full of nectar.  It was surprisingly heavy.  My understanding is that they have to evaporate this down to 14% – 18% water at which point it becomes honey.  Then they will cap the cells.

6:27:15 - 02

6:27:15 - 03

Here is another foundationless frame.  This one was added, along with two others (for a total of four), on June 17th.  So it’s been in the hive for 10 days at this point.

6:27:15 - 04

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