THE FOLLOWING HAS BEEN UPDATED SINCE ORIGINALLY POSTED.
- NOTE TO SELF: Remove insulated inner covers by the end of March.
April is way too late. So is April 16th.
Here’s a question I’ve heard a few times about the insulated inner covers we use: “Won’t the bees build a lot of burr comb over the top bars?” The answer is: “No, because the bees don’t build much comb in the winter.” But they sure do build comb once spring arrives, and you better get the covers off before the bees start bringing in pollen. You better remove any rims (or ekes) that are placed on the hives for dry sugar feeding too. We were too busy with work to remove them until today, and look what we found under one of the covers (in our one hive that happens to have follower-boards):
That’s about 3 inches of burr comb under the insulated inner cover (flipped upside down) — several large mounds of comb. It wouldn’t have been as bad if we’d removed the deep rim a couple weeks ago, but we didn’t, so it’s bad. Lesson learned.
UPDATE (a couple hours later): The burr comb was full of eggs. Check out these photos:
Can you see the freshly-laid eggs? The queen may have bee on the burr comb when we pulled it off the hive. Here’s a closer look:
Here’s the comb still attached to the inner cover:
Click the above images to view large full screen versions on a separate page.
Every cell has an egg.
The nurse bees did not abandon the comb (i.e., the brood comb) until they had no choice but to go back in the hive because of the cold. The comb looked like this when we first removed it from the hive: