I will admit that opening up a hive of bees is a bit nerve-wracking, even if it is a user-friendly Top Bar Hive that exposes you to fewer bees. Since I got my bees in May, I’ve been working on my amateur “technique”; with some practice, I’ve gotten better at moving slowly and calmly when I open up the hive, and as a result, there are hardly any bee fatalities. Squashing bees is a risk. And a squashed bee emits a pheromone that other bees smell and, appropriately, find alarming.And that just makes for a more escalated and less pleasant experience, for both bee and human.
Today when I looked at my bees I brought my camera. Last time I looked, 2 weeks ago, I found some greenish worm-looking things about 3/4 of an inch long, which I assumed were wax moth larvae: YUCK. Most of them were in the unused portion of my hive. At that time, I noticed that I’d neglected to seal a few parts of the hive. Which would make it easy for a moth to get inside. So I sealed up those cracks, and today saw no evidence of anything that shouldn’t be there. Thankfully. I hope I’m not wrong and that my bees will be strong enough to put the kibosh on any wax moth intrusions.
Then, I didn’t bring my camera because I didn’t think I could feel comfortable taking photos as I worked; but, as it turns out, it’s not that hard.
This is the inside of the hive, as it looked this morning:
All the bars to the left of the opening are full of comb, except for a few empty bars I put in to help expand the hive further to the right. You can see on the very first bar to the left that the bees are starting to build a new row of comb; it’s the small white shape, and soon it will be built all the way down to the bottom of the hive.
But, to my dismay I noticed that this was new comb being built to….replace the honey-saturated comb that fell to the bottom of the hive!!
Looking more closely above, you can see the thin strip of beeswax along the bar, indicating the place from where comb once was suspended.
And, above, you can see all the comb on the bottom. Here’s a close-up of that fallen comb, with the properly suspended comb on the left:
I carefully removed the fallen comb and brushed the bees (with a soft paint brush) back into the hive. I think there are a few small bits of comb left in there, but this is most of it:
Maybe it fell because it’s so hot; supposedly new comb doesn’t have time to “mature” and is more likely to fall when full of the weight of honey and/or brood. I dunno. I’m going to look into it, though, and get some answers! Hopefully there’s something I can do to keep this from happening in the future.