A few days ago I opened up the hives to make sure that the queens had been released and that generally all seemed well.
Here are the Italian Bees around a bit of burr comb between two frames that are a bit too far apart. Burr comb is just extra comb, or comb where it doesn't need to be. You want the bees putting the comb, and their effort, into the frames.
Here is one of the queen cages. You can see the opening on the end, by my glove. The piece of comb hanging off of the end is a good example of burr comb. This can be scraped off and saved to make creams, lip balm, etc...
Right now, while there isn't a lot of flowers/plants available for the bees to feed from, I make sugar syrup for them to eat. The liquid is poured into the top of this tray and the bees enter into the covered dome on top. Small bits of syrup flow into the dome for the bees.
Things seemed fine and the Italian girls were just all over the place. Not aggressive, but very busy. The Russian bees seemed a bit more methodical in the hive and very unfazed by my presence.
While my dad was visiting this week he liked to watch the bees. He would pull up a camp stool next to the hives and just watch their behavior.
I think he needs a hive of his own.....