Well, we didn’t end up waiting the 2 weeks. We were going camping the next weekend and wouldn’t have a chance again for a while, so s week later seemed like the perfect day, and the hive seemed to be pretty happy and secure, so we decided to risk it.
We had ordered a couple hats with veils on Amazon, put some gloves on (well, Ronan did), long sleeve shirts, pants tucked into socks, got all our gear together, the smoker going, and away we went. We opened the hive and started pulling out frames.
Here’s Ronan in the full getup. It was quite warm with all that clothing on in the middle of July, but I think everyone is a little afraid to get stung on their first foray.
So, we started taking the hive apart, box by box, frame by frame to see what we could see.
And what we saw was a thriving colony.
They’d been busy. The honeycomb that looks almost white is band new comb. They’d torn off all the bad parts of the comb and then rebuilt the top layers. And the queen had been busy! See the single white spec in each hexagonal cell? Each one is an egg.
Now, the odd thing was that we found eggs in two very separate parts of the hive. That’s not typical. Usually all the brood is confined to one area. Afterwards, it was suggested on Reddit that I might have had two queens. I wish I had realized that before hand, because then I could have had two hives. But, when we reorganized the boxes, we put the queens closer together and one likely killed the other. Queens don’t like competition.
Anyways, we got the boxes put in the order we wanted them and installed on the new hive stand I built a week before. Everything was weird, hesitant and awkward, but it went alright for no experience or training.
I’d call that a success.