I have some interesting photos of the hive that I took about two weeks ago when Mr. Chanclas was checking on their progress. I should note that these photos were taken just one month after our bees arrived. They have done so much work!
|Bees arriving at the entrance to the hive|
|Mr. Chanclas removing the roof to the hive|
|Replacing the jar of sugar water that helps feed the colony|
|Removing one of the top bars to look at the comb|
|A small piece of comb being built on the side of the hive. Chanclas removed it with a knife and we ate it.|
|One of the larger combs. Notice the golden brown in the center. That's the honey!|
|A closeup of the comb. Honey glistens in the center. The upper cells are capped with white.|
|The largest comb we have at the moment|
|The smallest, outermost comb. The bees started building comb at one end of the hive and are working their way down, building comb on the successive bars. Eventually they may fill or almost fill the box.|
|Lantana blooming near the beehive. This is one of many plants blooming at this time of year and providing the bees with nectar and pollen.|
I find the beehive to be such a wonder. We do almost nothing for them. Mr. Chanclas makes sure they have some water nearby and he still gives them some sugar water to supplement their food. The combs themselves are gorgeous, made of perfectly formed, precisely sized cells. The beauty of a top bar hive, as opposed to the traditional bee box hives, is that the bees decide what size cells to build. There is no template that they are forced to build on. They build what is best for their colony.
I've also been surprised at how docile the bees are. Mr. Chanclas bought a smoker but has yet to use it. We move slowly and carefully around the hive and the bees tolerate our presence. I have found bees to be very different from all of the other animals we keep. Namely because we don't "keep" the bees at all. They could leave any time they wanted. We just provided a nice home and they decided to stay. We don't manage them or interfere with them much at all. They just go about their business and we will be lucky to reap some honey rewards at some point.