A Tale of Two Hives: Following the progress of two new hives created from package bees – Post 6

Checking the hives, two week after installation
It has now been two weeks since I installed our two 3 pound packages of bees in their hives. Last week, at the one week mark, I was seeing drawn comb, nectar and/or sugar syrup (since we had feeders on, it’s hard to tell the difference), stored pollen, eggs, and larvae. I was also seeing more bees and drawn comb in hive #1, than in hive #2.

Today things in the hives appear to be progressing normally. There are more larvae (due to more eggs hatching since last week) and now I am seeing pupae (capped brood) as larvae from last week are maturing. To review the lifecycle of developing worker bees: eggs hatch about three days after being laid and start the development into larvae; larvae start to change into pupae about 5.5 days later (so about 8.5 days after being laid); and the bees will cap the cells about day nine after the eggs are laid.

There is more drawn comb in our hives and more brood in various stages of development. Obviously,there will not be an increase in the bee population until significant number of new bees start to emerge in a few weeks.

Newly drawn comb, honey and pollen

In the above photo, note the pattern of honey (or sugar syrup) toward the outside of the frame, capped in the corners with a ring of stored pollen below the honey and, I suspect, eggs below the pollen. This pattern of an oval of brood surrounded by rings of pollen and honey is typical of brood frames,though you will sometimes see frames that are almost entirely filled with brood.

Colored solid material is stored pollen; other cells contain nectar.


Looking for eggs

Larvae, some very young

The single most important bee in the hive

A special thanks to Jim Coss of The Honey & Bee Connection, who provided the package bees and hives for this series of posts!

Most of the photos are by my friend Mary Carney who is donating her time and camera skills for pictures in this and future posts.

2 responses to “A Tale of Two Hives: Following the progress of two new hives created from package bees – Post 6

  1. Phil Kirkland

    Phil, Good work here. Kudos to the photography — excellent. Phil

  2. Aaron Davis

    Enjoyed your talk at the Kentuckiana Beekeepers meeting this afternoon. Your site is a great resource that I’m enjoying as well. The photos posted here are absolutely perfect in showing the development stages of the honey bee, please pass on my compliments to the photographer. They made it very easy to talk my 6 year old daughter through this cycle.