New Backwards Beekeeper Marc checks in with his progress:
I attended my first meeting of the Backwards Beekeepers on April 25th...I captured a smallish swarm Easter morning and took a peek today, being only three weeks that the "girls" have been hive making. Wow. They have been busy.
Here is the swarm that landed late afternoon the Friday before Easter. They had swarmed on the stand of a bird feeder. At my daughter's encouragement to capture them I proceeded to discover the resources available to me. Very quickly I found the Backwards Beekeepers, LA Honey, and lots of information and other sites.
Okay, time to become a beekeeper. By Saturday night I had assembled a hive with one medium super and 10 frames. Sunday morning they plopped right in (having been christened the Easter Hive by my wife) and within a few days they were foraging and every fifth bee arrived with pollen.
Today (day 22) I opened the hive to swap out frames without starter strips and found two frames with drawn but empty comb and three like the picture below (mostly capped brood I think).
Below is a closeup of capped cells and larva. And maybe that is the queen on the extreme right. At this rate I think I have another three or four weeks before I have to put a second super on. I will also switch to a top entrance at that time. It's a very docile hive and opening it up was a non event for the bees. No doubt the light smoking helped. From the appearance of the (possible) queen my guess is that they are probably Italians, which the book "The Backyard Beekeeper" states are "not markedly protective of their hive" and "quiet on the comb"...
It's been a ton of fun so far and with little effort involved other than watching, reading, and planning. Honey is not a primary objective at this time, but if the hive grows really fast then maybe I'll collect a little this year.