Having checked the feed of the bees roughly every 2 to 3 days, I have ensured that they have enough of the syrup and have added approximately 1kg diluted into 1lt of water each visit.
So far they bees have been very calm; I too have been pretty relaxed and careful when carrying out any activities around the hive, this is something that was advised by professional, easy in theory!
One of the general observations made during a reasonably warm day was what seemed to be ‘more than normal’ activity and loud buzzing at the door of the hive, Bees seemed to be just flying about ½ metre from the entrance but remaining facing the hive, some would then spiral upwards and away. I checked on this activity and it’s referred to as ‘play flight’.
This is when after the 4th or 5th day after emergence the adult work bee, they tend to do it all at the same time on a warm day with little wind, once airborne they fly backwards, facing the hive then circling away until finally the turn their line of flight and circle around the hive, gradually spirally outwards. During this time they are learning the area and the surroundings just as scoping the area and storing it like Goggle earth so they can find their way back.
Keeping a good record of the inspection serves as a reminder of the status and allows you to plot progress and keep tabs on expansion of the hive, swarm potential, pests and general condition of the bees. I have put together a simple record card in spreadsheet format modified from one of the many on line sources.
The base board or hive floor, on my hive is a simple drawer that can be easily pulled out to reveal the dropping, pollen, foreign matter, mites or lice that have dropped from the brood chamber and through the mess floor. On both occasions that I have checked this I have found what looked like 3 to 4 tiny spiders or mites. I videoed these and took some close up pictures, having these checked I’m told they are not bee pests, so all is good.
One tip that I learnt at the taster course was to use Vaseline on the base board to catch any of the mites and to stop them from going back into the hive, this can be applied to a Correx sheet for ease of cleaning and replacement.
I inspected the brood frames one by one and saw a small amount of activity on the new frames that I inserted; also it was good to finally see the queen who has a blue marking identifying that she is a 2015
Queen bees can survive a number of years and the system of Queen marking colours has been devised which, if followed, give an indication of the age of the Queen. The Queen is marked with a spot of paint on her thorax (between the head and abdomen) with the colour scheme shown.