Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By 5 Acres and A Dream
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

Second Hive Check

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

Two of my questions as a novice Warré beekeeper were how long to feed my hive of package bees, and when to add more hive boxes.

Honeybees in my hive top feeder

In his video tutorial, “About Hivetop Feeders“, Chris Harvey of The Warré Store (where I purchased my feeder) says to feed them until the first hive box is entirely filled with comb. In The Backyard Beekeeper Kim Flottum says to feed them as long as they’ll consume it. This check was to see how far along they were in building comb in the top hive box.

If you look closely at the bees I’ve arrowed, you’ll see scales
of wax being secreted from glands on their abdomens. 

Dan and I lit the bee smoker, removed the top, quilt, and feeder, and took a look.

This time I had the camera!

The first thing I noticed was that they were drawing comb along the wax beads I painted on the top bars.  That was good news because it will make it easier to remove individual bars of comb if needed. Sometimes they attach comb to two or more of the top bars, making it impossible to remove only one. This is known as crosscombing.

I also noticed that some of the comb is already capped, some cells aren’t, and that some of the top bars had not been drawn out yet.

Busy bees at work

I did not look for the queen or brood. I’m trusting that my hive is queenright (has a healthy queen) by the bees’ behavior. They are busy, purposeful, and bringing in quite a bit of pollen. Pollen is necessary for initially feeding brood, which takes 21 days from egg to emerging adult bee.

They had emptied the feeder so I put it back on the hive and added more. I’m using a 1:1 sugar syrup with a tablespoon of homemade honey-bee-healthy added to each quart.

How will I know when to add another hive box? According to David Heaf in his Natural Beekeeping with the Warré Hive, boxes are nadired (added to the bottom) when the bottom box is about 1/2 built with comb. How will I know that? With a handheld mirror. The idea is to add more boxes before they fill up the available space and decide to swarm in search of a larger home.

Checking progress. We’re looking up through the screened bottom at the
top bars in the bottom box. Bees are present but not yet drawing comb.

That’s where a screened bottom comes in handy. When I first took a peek about a week and a half ago, I saw no bees in the mirror. Now I see them because comb-building has progressed so that bees are in the area. Once they fill up that top box they’ll start building comb in the next box down. The queen will move down as well, to lay eggs in the new comb. The cells vacated by newly emerged bees will be filled with honey.

About a week ago I enlarged the hive opening a bit.

Traffic is lightest in morning and
evening, heaviest in the afternoon.

Traffic was bottle-necking at the entrance so I swapped out the little chunk of wood to accommodate them. The purpose of narrowing the entrance is to give the new hive a better chance to defend itself, until the bees build up better numbers. Shortly after that I observed a carpenter bee trying to gain entrance. It was not only repelled but literally kicked out on its butt! Much to my relief it gave up after that.

They are certainly busy during the day, bringing in pollen, nectar, and water. I’ve only had the hive for about three weeks now, so the first of the brood ought to be hatching. These will take up house bee duties for their first several weeks of life, allowing the older bees to enter the foraging ranks. Some time I’ll have to write a post about the life stages of a honeybee, because of all of God’s creatures, I think they are the most fascinating.


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen! 
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)

Immusist Beverage Concentrate - Proprietary blend, formulated to reduce inflammation while hydrating and oxygenating the cells.

Report abuse


    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    Load more ...




    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.