Opening up the hives the other day, we found that that the hives were in pretty good shape. Even if they do not produce a lot of honey Ralph said they would survive the winter. There was no honey on the honey supers that we put in the other week, but there wasn’t a shortage of honey in the bee boxes either. Interestingly, not all of the honey looked the same. Some of it was darker and some of it had a different look to it. This is probably due to the multiple sources of nectar as it determines the color, flavor, and aroma of the honey. The different colored of capped honey could be due to the fact that bees track pollen onto the comb, resulting in the honey having a darker appearance.
During our inspection, we also noticed something else very interesting: one of the bees was eating a dead larva. Although this may sound brutal to some, it is actually quite normal for the workers to eat the dead larvae. I, personally, would not be too concerned about seeing one bee eating a dead larva because there was only one. It wasn’t a majority and there were no big piles of dead bees or other signs of dead larvae. While some hives looked healthier than the others, nothing too concerning stood out. Yet, every time we inspect the hives, I gain more and more appreciation for the bees and how uniquely God created them. To think that God created an insect to work so hard to produce something so delicious and wonderful for us is amazing especially considering life as a bee would not be easy. A foraging bee can carry 80% of their weight in pollen or nectar. They must gather around ten pounds of nectar and fly 55,000 miles to make one pound of honey. It takes a lot of work for bees to make honey, and I am gaining more of an appreciation for their honey as I see the hard work being done firsthand through the inspections.