Inside the Hive

It was impressive to see how much comb-building the bees had done in just 3 weeks. Such elegant, pristine work!

Here you see the combs built in Hive Orange. A week after these pics were taken, another 6 or 7 new combs had been built here, and Green Hive was building up comb even more quickly.

The cells in these combs are being filled with nectar, honey, pollen and eggs. The queen lays about 1,500-2,000 eggs each day; as these eggs hatch into larvae and then metamorphose into bees, they replace the elder workers who have reached the end of their short lifespan. Over time, if all goes well, the colony will grow in size from its original 3-lb. package size of about 10,000 bees to 60,000 or more. The bees will work hard to gather enough nectar to enable the colony to survive the winter, though most of the gatherers will never live to see the spring.

On the hive floor you can see crystalized sugar from our syrup-feeding, along with pollen gathered by the bees. The pollen colors are sorbet-like: soft and fiery orange, rose-red, grey, bluish-purple, and yellow. Below, at left, you can see a bee with some pinkish pollen on her hind leg, which is fitted with neat little structured called a pollen basket.

1 comment:

Eva Yaa Asantewaa said...

The poetic possibilities here are endless!