The purpose of this post and the posts that follow is to share my inspection notes. This hopefully will allow other other beginners such as myself to reference their hives against mine and allow me to get more feedback and advice on my hives.
For my second inspection, I thought I would formalize my photography regiment. Rather then just take photos of whatever takes my fancy, I will take a full photo of each side of each frame including blank frames. My thinking is that this will allow me to have a complete record of the progress of each hive that is more objective then just my note taking process. I hope to add some more macro shots in the future to supplement the full frame shots but right now the thought of changing lens during an inspection is a little daunting. I'm looking into acquiring another camera body so I can have both the 35 mm wide angle I use for the full frame shots and 105 mm I want to use for macro work both available to me. But I have been spending money like it is going out of style on beekeeping related stuff as of late and I think I had better tone it down some or I'm not going to be able to pay the bills.
This hive is 18 days old at this point and while its making good progress the first frame and a half in this hive were only barely touched. I only have one deep box on right now and I'm trying to monitor it closely to know when to add the second deep. Despite my poor photography on these frames you can only see traces of comb being drawn out.
However, when we get to the back side of frame 2 things start to pick up. One side of this frame looks fairly packed with pollen while the other side and top are filled with nectar starting on its journey to becoming honey.
In frame 3 we get into brood country. This frame being mostly capped brood with a section of uncapped brood on the right. While I didn't see her at the time, the queen is clearly visible on the "A" side of this frame. She seems to be inspecting the next generation of troops.
Frame 4 is much like frame 3; packed with brood. It is amazing to me that they can have done all this in such a short period of time. The queen makes another appearance on the "A" side of this frame. How she got from frame 3 to frame 4 in the short time it took me put in frame 3 and pull out frame 4 I do not know.
It was about this time that I got stung. One little bee decided I was a serious threat and she needed to chase me off no matter what. She managed to force her stinger through my new gloves and give me a little poke. This was a little disappointing as I had thought these 14 mil thickness gloves were the perfect combination of protection and dexterity, but I guess I was wrong. Well, I guess I will have to be more careful. At least the boots I got seem to be working as intended.
Frame 5 looks to be the brood expansion zone. The "A" side is has a good patch of capped brood on the right while the left has younger uncapped brood. The "B" side of frame 5 has a smaller patch of capped brood of the left but the right side is not even fully drawn out.
one note. Like you I began with plastic frames. Its easy, relatively cheap, easy to insert, and can spin the honey out. However, I began to notice a few things that others may have felt or have an answer. I cant cut queen cells off and use it elsewhere without damaging the cell. They tend to either draw it at 90 degrees to the frame if its just foundation, or they build off the foundation with a space underneath. and then they build it correctly sometimes with no reason. It is easier to see eggs and larvae.