Wow! Time really flies. It’s already been four months since I started this adventure in beekeeping. I am happy to report that Queen Aliénor is safely wandering the combs and, hopefully, depositing eggs. I still can’t see the eggs and instead look for capped and uncapped brood as evidence that she’s been laying recently. She was on the third frame in on the side of the hive that is best protected from the wind.

The queen and a few attendants among some capped honey

There are only two frames with no construction, and multiple frames only partly built, as is the one on which the queen was roaming this morning. Two frames have had the wax coating the foundation stripped on one side and will likely never be built out, and I’ll need to replace those next spring once there is plenty of forage for them. I’ve placed those on the outer edges of the hive since there isn’t much on them on the other side either; they have some honey on them, but they aren’t brood frames that need to stay closer to the center. There is one very heavy frame that is full of uncapped honey, and another frame filled with primarily with capped brood. They had eaten through the pollen patty I gave them nearly three weeks ago, and there was only the tiniest smidgen of it left, so I know I need to add patties at least every 2 – 2 1/2 weeks. I refill the sugar syrup usually weekly, though it’s less invasive to check the status of that since I can do it without opening the entire hive. I wonder if I could put the pollen patty above with the syrup? I’ll have to look into that.

All in all, I’m feeling like I have navigated this fairly well so far. I hope that we make it through the winter without too many hiccups. The weather here has definitely shifted to cooler nights and brisk mornings, but it warms up nicely by mid-morning. With the cooling temperatures, I will likely reduce the frequency with which I conduct a detailed hive inspection. Although I still need to do that mite check!

Hive activity this sunny morning

I still intend to post weekly, and have run through most of what I had in mind, although I still have a couple on my list. So I’m curious…are there any topics about bees or pollinators about which you are interested in reading and learning here? Please share in a comment and I’ll add that to my list. Knowing what you’re interested in gives me ideas too. Thanks for following along!