As I have discussed in my post of April 22nd I installed five packages of bees into hives on April 15th. See the April 22nd post for progress of the new hives up until that point. I looked at them this past Saturday, April 30th, and had also made observations the previous weekend, on April 23rd, which I had not written about. You also may wish to see my post of April 13th – “What to look for in your new hive”.
I will give general observations about their progress, comments are representative for most of the hives, except one, and I will comment on that hive in detail at the end of the post. A week after the installations I was seeing multiple frames with drawn comb, lots of nectar in the new cells, as well as eggs and larvae. Fresh pollen was also present in the cells. On April 29nd, two weeks after the packages were installed, there was capped brood in four of the hives, and these hives are all approaching the “seven frames drawn” point at which I add another box of frames containing foundation. I have prepared the frames, and likely on Sunday, May 8th, I will add another box to these four hives. When to add the box is not extremely critical, I just do not wish to see the first box to get completely full of bees, and brood, without adding the second box. So Sunday will be fine. It would require a great number of new bees to emerge from brood for this to occur, and that will not happen for some time. Continue reading