July 16, 2013
top bar hive inspection - day 10
The bees had started building comb on four top bars after 10 days. We haven't been able to glimpse the queen yet, and we couldn't spot any eggs or larvae, so we'll have to keep an eye on it in case the queen is dead.
I had to trim a little off one of the combs that was a little crooked. The honey that stuck to the knife is some of the best tasting I've ever had!
We finally removed the old comb that was sitting on the bottom mesh screen. We had originally put it there to attract the bees to prevent absconding. We decided to tie it up to a bar let them build off it. Probably not necessary, but it looked in maybe, just maybe there was some larvae in it. Ribbon works well since it is broad and won't cut through the comb like thread might.
With all the hot weather we've been having (highs in the 90s), the bees have been bearding so I added some roof insulation. I used a 1" thick piece of salvaged polyisocyanurate (yellow, foil-faced). The facing had come off one side, so I wrapped it in sheets of aluminum foil in order to keep foam particles from falling off into the hive. The foil also helps since it acts as a radiant barrier. We drilled some gable vents to ventilate the space above the insulation and below the metal roof, to try to reduce the solar gain. We can plug the vents during the winter.