My hives are aging, and I couldn't be more excited. The pure white wax is turning golden yellow, and the hive is getting sticky. Older hives are much more exciting to me. Their smell is more complex, they feel better in your hands, and they have much more to teach you. Success!
This is one of my foundationless frames that used a small starter strip of wax. There are no visible differences between these frames and those started with full sheets of foundation. And let me give her credit - I have an awesome queen. Success!
A close view of a beautiful pollen rainbow. My bees like variety. Success!
My green hive is growing taller. The bottom three boxes are bursting with bees and solid brood pattern and I was able to add a honey super. Success!
This was a foundationless frame with no starter wax. Huge amounts of drone cells, weird configurations and undulating wax patterns, and strange communication holes in the center of the frame. I'm glad I did this little experiment, but from now on I will be using foundationless frames with starter wax. Failure!
Foundationless frames are always drawn in very organic shapes that eventually evenly fill out the frame. But a large number of the foundationless frames with no starter wax were being drawn exclusively with drone cells, so they were cut out and I will have the bees begin again (sorry girls!) on frames with starter wax. So much wasted energy and effort, but lesson learned. Failure!
A deformed drone frame, fed to the chickens. Within an hour there was an empty frame on the ground, completely cleaned of all the wax. Is it possible to have honey flavored eggs?