Today was my first visit after hiving a package a week ago.
This is my first year and I have just the one hive.
I had a plan but I wasn't anticipating that the bees had been so productive in a short period of time.
I also made mistakes. The first was not counting the frames when I assembled the hive, I left out two frames instead of one to make room for the queen cage.
When I opened the hive the bees had attached and drawn almost what would be equal to a full frame, had there been one there. I use a plastic hive top feeder and they seemed to have really liked it to build comb on. The problem was that when I raised the feeder up to set it down I didn't realize that the comb and bees were hanging on the bottom and when I sat it down onto my top cover I mashed quite a few bees. When I did realize what had happened I picked it back up and there I stood with a feeder heavy with syrup and a wad of bees and comb on the bottom. The only thing that I could do was try and balance the feeder on the edge of the hive body and remove the comb. The syrup shifted and I dumped the whole thing onto the ground. Then I removed the comb and shook and smoked the bees off and put the comb in my scrap bucket.
My second mistake was focusing all of my attention on the hive (tunnel vision
) which would have worked had everything gone according to plan HOWEVER
my inexperience led me and my big feet to shift position and I stepped square into the middle of where I had dumped the syrup and the wad of bees that had gathered there killing several before I realized what I was doing.THEN
after making a lot of bees mad I ran out of fuel in my smoker. I had not fired it up and tested it to see how long my smoke would last. That made for a very quick inspection and to tell the truth I can't tell you exactly what I observed. I didn't
see the queen even though she is marked but I did see brood cells and pollen.
It was really depressing to have planned and promised yourself that you were not going to harm any bees and then kill a bunch even though it wasn't intentional. Second degree bee slaughter?
Thanks for letting me vent! I hope that some other new beekeepers might learn a little from my mistakes.