On Wednesday, March 25th, we received two packages of Italian honey bees in the mail. When we opened up the packages to inspect the queen cages, we found two healthy queens. Because of the cold temperatures, we had to quickly install the packages, making sure to keep the queen warm in the Assistant Beekeeper's pocket. Since the installation, the queens have been busy building new comb, storing sugar water, and beginning the egg laying process.
Yesterday, on April 8th, we did our first official hive inspection, with the main goal of finding a healthy laying queen in each hive. Hive A was checked first, and we found that the bees had completely built up a couple frames, and started storing sugar water. The queen was busy laying eggs, and even spotted! Hopefully in the next two weeks this brood box will be completely filled and we should be able to add another brood box. Hive B was inspected next. When we opened the hive, we found a slightly smaller cluster of bees. This was expected however, because the package appeared to be smaller and because the queen was released from her cage later. This hive will hopefully continue to grow over the next few weeks, because we did find healthy brood.