Weather in Wheaton, IL USA
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Top-bar hives (started April 13, 2012)
What honey lover doesn’t dream about honey fresh from the hive? What better way than your own hives? Inspired by my beekeeping friend, Dan Fitzpatrick I built the two top bar hives with blue prints purchased from BackYardHive.com. The hives were completed April 13—Just in time—The two packages of bees that Dan ordered for me in Dec, 2011 arrived two days before! I am transfixed by these industrious creatures. So much so, I thought others might be too.
Here are two images taken May 2, 2012 of the inside of the hive shown in the Bee Cam. Taken from the window on the side, the bright spot to the left is the entrance. You can just make out three combs, but there might be a fourth to the far left. The image to the right, “Looking Up” shows empty bars on the top (top bar hive) continuing to the right (click image for closeup). These bars stretch, like close-set railroad tracks, the entire length of the hive. Each will hold a comb. Some for honey and some for the young brood. The bees are making brood combs now. It looks chaotic, with bees everywhere, but the resulting cream-colored comb peeking through is crystalline in its regularity. They are each attached to a top bar, growing in size as they are built back from the entrance.
They will all eventually fill the space below and beside, leaving only enough space for the bees to scurry by. The queen will busily fill these with eggs and new worker bees will emerge about 16 days later. At some point, they will begin making combs for honey. I’m not sure when this begins. Click on images to see close up. (Back to top)