At this inspection, there was a lot of cleanup to be done due to fallen comb somewhere between bars 7-13. We are suspecting it was comb that we had tried to straighten during the previous inspection that got too weak to hold new heavy nectar the bees were bringing in.
This is the Beepods top bar hive at the Milwaukee County Zoo. Watch as these new beekeepers ‘ewww’ and ‘awww’ at the coolness of the bees.
As seen in this video, the bar that we had taped back together with masking tape was doing well. We were able to remove the tape (which had been mostly chewed away – which is a good/nature thing – on one side by the bees anyways). We were wondering what the dust/pulp under the hive was… and now we know that it must have been the masking tape that the bees chewed up and discarded along with bits of wax! After we removed the tape, we noticed a big hole in the comb. It was very interesting to see.
Due to the clean up and a few learning moments, the inspection took around 2 hours. Once the bees are done building out all of the bars with comb (filling up the entire length of the box – which might or might not happen by the end of this Fall) the hive will be easier to manage.
This video is taken in July (in Wisconsin) 5 days after a honey harvest I had to perform due to extensive cross-combing. I had to harvest 3 bars of heavy honey comb in order to put the bees back on track to building straight comb again.
So, in this video, I’m checking up on their progress only to find that a big chunk of comb (that I had thought was secure) ended up falling to the bottom of the hive.
To help the bees continue building straight comb, I move the bar of comb that is 100% built out from the middle of the hive over to where the new comb is being built closer to the end of the hive.