Sometimes you just have to abandon ship

Sunday wasn't a wholly succesful visit to the Beehaus. It was a cloudy and muggy day, as though a storm were brewing. Experience has taught me that days like this are best to keep away from the bees. Remember last year when I got stung three times in similar weather! But I thought I'd pursue anyway as I was curious to see whether the two colonies had nibbled their way through the newspaper in the divider board and united. So, I lifted the lid on the right side first and yes, they certainly had as you can see from the two pics below.

You can see that the bees have completely nibbled their way through the newspaper that was in that gap 
A closer look

I then closed them up and went on to the left side. As soon as I lifted the lid I could tell the bees weren't happy that I removed the roof of their home. They were flying up and although not dive bombing my head, they were certainly giving me the impression they wanted me to buzz off. I got as far as the first couple of frames (one of which had a substantial amount of capped brood) and decided to abandon ship. 

I've learnt from reading my fair share of bee books and manuals that there is no shame in abandoning an inspection if the bees are not happy. I'm hoping that the reason was the weather and not due to Queen issues but I guess I'll have to wait for my next inspection this weekend to find out. I did manage to put one super (a honey storing box) on the hive before I left. At the Bee Safari on Saturday I kept hearing from beekeepers that the honey flow is on so I'm feeling hopeful we'll get some 'Learmonth Lawns' honey yet!

Here are some pics I did manage to take before closing up:

The left side from above - not happy with me today

The bees are bringing in lots of honey and pollen. The pollen is very grey - I need to find out what plant that comes from. Any ideas? Maybe lavender?

Here's hoping that they'll start storing some of that honey in the super that I put on


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