A week in the life of a frame of bees

2012 July 23
by Chris Vernon

Throughout the summer we are inspecting the bees as close to weekly as other commitments allow. On each inspection we take a quick photo of each frame. This allows us to study the frame in detail in our own time on the computer.

Two recent visits took place on Wednesday 4th July and Thursday 12th July. The swarm was hived on 16th of June so these inspections are +19 days and +27 days respectively. Since it takes 21 days from the egg being laid for a worker bee to emerge, on the 4th July all we had was lots of sealed brood. However, by the inspection on the 12th, it was all change!

The photos below show both sides of the same frame on each inspection. Click the images for high-resolution.

Frame of bees

Front of the frame, sealed brood on the left, recently emerged on the right.

Frame of bees

Back of the same frame.

By the 12th July much of the brood has emerged, increasing the colony’s size for the first time since the swarm was caught. Encouragingly, the recently vacated cells had all been cleaned out and recharged with new eggs! Restart the counter – these cells should be emerging sometime around the 1st August!

The wild comb on the bottom of the frame is the result of using a normal deep national frame in a 14×12 brood box. We have three such frames in the box currently which we’re planning to leave for the time being.

One Response leave one →
  1. August 11, 2012

    Hi Chris,
    Looks to be going well. The swarm I hived 2 months ago, swarmed again last week – but my Dad caught them and booked them! He is now an offical
    Swarmcatcher!! :-))

    Was wondering, when you were looking at hive types did you come across the beehaus?


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