Well checking the bees this morning went smoothly in some ways, less so in others.
I actually put on proper equipment and had the smoker fired up the right now, and they were quite docile, which is nice.
Unfortunately, my hive has been on an uneven level, which I thought was more or less fine, because around here its easy to give up on ever finding anything flat and I didn’t have a conveniently sized 2×4.
So I open the top box, which they fortunately moved up to, and a big piece of fresh wax covered in bees broke off and kind of smashed into itself. I was able to throw it back in so they can recycle it. I went to inspect the other frames, and sure enough they are all about a half inch off the bottom center where they should be if there was not already a foundation.
The bees do, in fact, build straight down regardless to where a plumb line would fall, and don’t care so much about what is at the bottom. This made moving the frames much more difficult, and has probably been a consistent problem.
On the bright side, this is the first time I’ve seen a substantial amount of honey. Unfortunately, it was because the tight uneven frames sheered off some of the wax caps (on the bright side, once honey is dripping down the bees are very distracted.
It looked delicious, though I was in gloves and occupied and couldn’t take a break.
Also I haven’t seen queenie yet since the day I moved them in, but at the rate they have multiplied she must be fine…though it seems like they’re producing an unnecessary amount of drones.