Beautiful 60 degree day today! Just right for getting a good look inside the hives. Lots of new capped brood, tons of pollen being stored and overall healthy, good looking hives. The pollen they are bringing in is from pussywillow that is in full bloom right now. You can see this in a few of the pictures at the end of this posting, including a couple where the bees are stacked up waiting their turn to enter the hive.
Can you find the queen in the first picture? She is at the center of the frame near the top. Dark and quite elongated compared to the other bees. The background that the bees are crawling over is capped brood. When the larvae reaches the pupa stage the bees cap the cell. In eleven days the adult bee will emerge. This time of year we are looking for lots of capped brood. It means the hive is healthy and preparing for the nectar flow that is soon to come. In the next picture you can see another look at the tan capped brood.
Here the caped brood is in the center of the frame. The ring of darker cells just outside the brood is filled with eggs and pupa that have not yet been capped. Just outside of them you will see a ring of stored pollen (the yellow colored cells) and outside of that is stored honey that remains from last season.
In the next picture, see if you can figure out why there is a big hole in the center of the capped brood.
What we are looking at here is brood that has already hatched. The first brood of the season was laid in the pancaked sized area in the middle of the frame. Those bees have now hatched and that is why the cells in the middle of the frame are now empty. Before long the workers will clean those cells out, the queen will fill them with eggs and they will be capped once again.
Below is another picture of the bees bringing in pollen to the hive. Bee well and bee kind to your local Beek. (Beekeeper) 🙂