We checked up on the Cowper Hive today (8/22/2010). This hive is placed next to the Wine Barrel Hive in Los Altos and set on a platform that’s already ant-proof.
Since this hive is in my backyard I checked on them around 8:00AM but the bees were all still inside as it was a COLD night and the hive does not get morning sun until around 10AM or so due to tall trees. Dad and I came back in the late afternoon to check on them. Here’s the first sight. The bees started to move out to check out there new home and to get warm.
We also opened up the hive today to check on the queen. OH NO! She was being balled inside the cage, so we released her but she’s still being balled. The bees are a mixture of the lower and upper colony, and the queen is from the upper colony. I didn’t have any sugar water plus peppermint or vanilla spray with me so I just let her go. I should have been more prepared. I hope she’ll be ok. Another reason why she could have been balled is because I got the queen from the lower colony, sucked up the hose into the bee vac when I was getting the other bees. We shall see what happens and if there will be a queen in there after one week.
This is after we brushed the bees inside and released the queen from the cage. All of the bees started to come out again and eventually covered the entire front of the hive. It’s probably a pretty scary site for those non-beekeepers but this is totally normal. I checked on them at night and they all went back inside their new home, warming each other and the brood, eggs, and larvae. Another update will be provided after this weekend’s inspection.