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Since this is our first year as beekeepers, we have been documenting every step of the process. We’ve read about how bees make honey and the life cycle of a bee. But reading about it and seeing it in person is a totally different experience. Each time my husband goes out to check on our bee hives, he takes some pictures. When he comes back, we all gather around the computer to see the progress in our bee hives.
Since we bought two packages of honey bees earlier this month, we have thousands of them on our property. Our lilac bushes and fruit trees are buzzing with the sound of honey bees busy at work. We see the honey bees flitting from flower to flower. Getting to see the bees at work inside their new honey bee hive is simply amazing!
My husband’s bee keeping class instructor said he should start to notice eggs in the comb after the first week. We were thrilled when we saw that our honey bees were doing what they were supposed to! The honey bee eggs look like tiny grains of rice down inside the comb.
The next phase of the honey bee’s life cycle after an egg is the larva. From day 3-9 the egg turns into a larva. They look like a little white “c” inside the comb.
At day 9, the worker bees cap the larva. In the picture below you can see some of the larva have already been capped in the comb.
Then the larva turns into a pupa from day 10-21. After that, the new honey bee emerges. My husband just happened to see this new honey bee emerging when he checked the hives.
About two weeks after we first got our honey bees, there was already honey in the comb. Obviously there wasn’t a lot since they just started living in the hive. But my husband did scoop a tiny drop onto the end of his hive tool for us to taste. That first taste of honey that our bees made was just divine! This picture shows capped honey on the outer edge of the frame. The capped larva are on the interior of the frame (not pictured)
We’ve had our honey bees for four weeks. They’re already filling up most of the frames in the bottom box. Yesterday my husband and Little A set up a new box of frames. This week my husband will add this to the honey bee hives so they will be two boxes high. The alfalfa field nearby is growing strong and soon will be in bloom. Then our honey bees will really be feasting and making honey!
Interested in beekeeping? Here are some helpful books on beekeeping: