A Look Inside the Hives


The bees have been busy lately! Though I’m new to bee talk, it seems that maybe there has been a ‘nectar flow’ going on the past two weeks around these parts. I thought I’d share a little look inside.

I still haven’t gotten stung (knock on wood!). I have been doing my inspections without gloves as a book I read said it’s better to work the frames without gloves. So far so good.

A question for you beekeepers out there, does the picture just above these words look like capped drone cells? Whilst the one above that look like worker brood? Only after I closed this hive up did I realize there weren’t many drones in this colony and then after reviewing the pictures it looked to me like the above picture might be a patch of drone brood. This is all from the smaller hive.

The larger hive has it’s top super completely full of honey! I’m going to have to add another in a few days.

This bush has helped with this assumed nectar flow, I believe. Every time I walk past it, it is humming with the sound of happy foraging bees.


Filed under beekeeping

15 responses to “A Look Inside the Hives

  1. This is the coolest thing EVER. I so ❤ bees and local honey. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Ah, your hives are the most perfect of yellow colors. To match the bees! Very cool. Nothing is better than fresh honey…

    • asonomagarden

      That yellow was the color of our last house….left over paint that needed to be used. I like it too 🙂

  3. Aubrey

    Love your posts and blog, always an inspiring visual treat.
    It is hard for me to be sure from looking at your photos, but I believe your top pic shows a frame w capped honey and your pic below it shows
    a frame w brood cells. They look like worker brood to me.

    • asonomagarden

      Thanks Aubrey, I know it is hard to tell from those little photos. I’m pretty sure the top photo is brood however. I didn’t get the corners of the frame, but all around in a crescent is the capped honey and it’s much whiter in color. I brought the camera out there because I remember looking in there seeing that some of the brood cappings were different looking than my other hive, I wanted photo documentation. I was worried they were diseased, being the smaller hive, but I think they look okay.

  4. KimH

    Beautiful.. I love bees & their honey… I always wanted to have bees.. Maybe in my golden years. 😉

  5. Your Inside look at the Beehive is neat. Though I often wondered when you harvest your honey,will it adversly affect the bees? Like will they starve? How do you know how much to take and how much to leave for them? I can’t do this since I am allergcic to bee sting, highly,I have gone into anaphelectic shock from a sting before.

    • asonomagarden

      Tammy, I’m so sorry to hear you are so allergic to bees! I think that is part of the art of beekeeping, knowing how much honey to take and how much to leave to the bees. I don’t know if we’ll be taking any honey this year, their first year. We’ll see!

  6. I’m also thinking honey and brood. At any rate, it all looks good. I love bee posts — and I’m not a happy barehander!

  7. I second what Aubrey said. That top one REALLY looks like honey to me. If you want to find out for sure in a situation like that, take your hive tool and pierce one of the cells. If it’s honey it’s honey and if it’s not it’s pretty gross, but the loss of one bee won’t harm your colony any.

    I am insanely jealous you’re getting honey your first year from the big hive! My beekeeping instructor said that is practically unheard-of!

    Drone brood looks very different from worker brood. Did you ever buy the pantyhose in the egg and wear them and then try to stuff them back into the egg after they’re stretched out? That BULGE is what you see with drone brood 🙂

  8. I am new to beekeeping this year – just hived my swarm on May 21st – and I’m loving it, too. The first picture does not look like honey to me. Like you said, honey is capped in white, and I do see a little capped honey in the upper right corner of the second picture. From what I have read, drone brood will have a larger cell than worker brood to accommodate for the larger size of the bee. Are the cells larger? There really shouldn’t be a lot of drones in your hive. If you notice a large percentage of drones, you may have lost your queen and may have a laying worker (they can only lay unfertilized eggs which will result in drones). If your second picture is drone brood, you will want to take measures to correct that. Most importantly, have you seen your queen recently? Is there a good solid pattern to the capped brood, with few empty cells, or is it more sporadic? Do you have a mentor that can take a look in the hive with you? The second picture seems a little more sporadic to my unexperienced eye, but some of the brood could have already hatched. (I haven’t seen a frame with hatched brood yet.) Was the frame from the second picture more toward the center of the hive that would have an older brood chamber? I’m not sure if I’ve been much help, but as a newbee (couldn’t resist the pun), those are the things I would consider. Good luck with your bees. I hope they continue to do well for you.

  9. Yes, those look like capped drone brood to me.

    I wish I could go gloveless too. My last sting made me break out in all body hives which was a first, and also scared me. I wish I could as I would like to feel the bees under my fingers and be more responsive to them.

  10. Jennifer

    Hi Mil, I am a newbe apitherapist. Breaking out in hives in not life threatening, however it is uncomfortable. It is actually a normal reaction to a bee sting. What you want to look out for is a thickening of the throat and trouble breathing. If you do get stung by a bee again, always know where your benedril is and take one, if you don’t feel better in half an hour, take another one, and have an epipen near. A baking soda bath helps as well, half a box to a warm bath, not hot.

    • Most people would think breaking out in hives is just uncomfortable and not life threatening. However I know for a fact from my own experience from having gone into full blown shock, that 1) It can happen a lot later than the initial bee sting. Mine occured 4 hours later! 2) Yeah you should watch for swelling of the Tongue, neck and throat. But what swelled besides the site of the sting were my eye lids and lips! I looked and felt possessed. 3) If this ever happens to you eat 2 benedril and run don’t walk to your closest emergency department! It may save your life.When I went in they wouldn’t even put me in a room and kept asking me if I was ok? I told them yeah except I’m about to go insane with all this itching. I really badly wanted to scratch deeply inside each and every orifice on me. Not to mention the hives.

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