Today was a great day for bee hive inspection. It was a sunny day, and got up into the mid 80's by late afternoon. During the late morning when I inspected the hive it was only in the 70's (funny to say *only* when a week ago it was near freezing!).
I smoked the hive, and opened it up to do the inspection. I was wondering if I was going to have to add another layer (super), but my wife tells me that I am just being too ambitious - it's only been 13 days since I installed the package. I found about 3-4 frames had been filled out with honeycomb. While I didn't see the queen, I saw more eggs which tells me she is laying just fine. The books say I should see some larvae by now - I could have seen that, but I was not sure. I forgot to check specifically for larvae. The picture above is one of the frames, and you can see that the bees had added wax making the cells deeper. It's still uneven (the left side isn't done yet), but I don't think anything is wrong. They will fill it out.
The bees were going very strong today - it was a good day to collect pollen and I suppose nectar. I didn't see any bees with yellow legs (full of pollen) flying into the hive, but when I opened up the hive, I saw a little guy on the edge of a frame with packed pollen on his legs. Look at the larger version of this picture:
When you smoke the bees, they start drinking the honey (thinking that they will have to abandon the hive due to a fire). It's funny to see their little butts in the air as they frantically gather honey! But it keeps them occupied and not inclined to sting me!
Next week I should be able to see more brood, and maybe some of it capped. Then shortly after that, some new bees! Right now they seem to be happy, so we are hoping for the best.