The sad news is that our first venture into beekeeping was not a sucess. On a routine check of the hive in November, the boys found that there was no honey and no brood stored by the bees, which means there was no way for them to survive the winter. Brood is baby bees, and some honey would be needed by the colony to survive the winter.
All was not lost though, we were able to move our hive to a friends house where they will be incorporated into one of his hives.
We are guessing that the queen was either damaged or killed during the transport to our house back in August. Or maybe she was just not a good queen. Or who knows. The bees hung around the hive and our yard, but just were not able to put up as much honey as they would need to sustain themselves over the winter.
This was it for comb made by the bees, poor things. Uusally a frame like this would be covered with honey comb or brood, and there are 8 frames in a bee box, which should all be covered too. So this is really a very very small amount.
Despite having to bail out the colony, this was a successful experiment in several ways. Most importantly that I found that I really loved having bees in the yard, they did not eat the children, only one guest got stung (but he had his hands all the way into the hive), and my garden did amazingly well from all of the extra pollination that was going on.
This spring we have registered to take a bee class (both hubby and I) and the boys plan to trap several more swarms to get us going again in the spring.
I"m sad our first colony was not successful, but I'm really glad for the experience and I"m looking forward to beekeeping in the new year.
Here is the littlest beekeeper... not really, he was just trying on the hat, just like daddy!