Thursday, April 19, 2012

Looking good, ladies!

I went out today to visit my girls and see how the comb construction has been progressing. I've stolen a few sneak peeks over the past week, but today marks the first true examination of the hive. I'm simply amazed at how much has been accomplished in such a short time period. They've completely built out two frames and are pretty far along on 4 others. The four frame farthest from the center had a few stragglers doing some minor wax-work, but for the most part were untouched. I anticipated the initial build-out would take at least a month, and a little less than a week in they've definitely surpassed my expectations.

It's truly mind boggling how fast they work. So fast, in fact, that they've begun building a second layer of comb between two of the frames. Seeing two frames mended together is...well...interesting. They came apart very easily, but I don't think they were especially appreciative of the fact that I'd done it. While separating the bound frames, a small (approximately 1.5" x 2") piece of comb broke off and fell to the bottom of the hive. I managed to get my hand down there and grab it so they wouldn't fill it needlessly with any precious resources. To my amazement, it actually already had several cells of uncapped honey. And let me say that fresh, uncapped honey is the "bee's knees". I marveled over the comb on my desk and found myself in awe...what a remarkable genetic trait, the ability to build such a geometrically perfect structure. Humans take years of practice (and often a ruler) to draw straight lines, yet bees have perfected sacred geometry within weeks of their birth.

I'll go back and visit more often from here on out. Hopefully I can figure out a way to stop them from needlessly building comb where it doesn't belong. Or maybe I'll just appreciate it as a source of awesome chewing gum. Who knows?

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