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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The bees seem to be doing well. I didn't open the hive this week because of heat and weekend work, but I've been sitting with it every evening, watching the comings and goings, looking through the window and cursing myself for yet again forgetting to bring a flashlight. The bees have built a bit of new comb (while not completing a broken piece), attached one piece to the window (I have no idea why -- maybe it was sagging and needed some bolstering -- the attachment is about two inches long, near the top of the comb), and it looks as though they built a bridge between two pieces of comb as well. Aaah, bees!

Another thing that has changed is some of the odor coming from the hive. Now, mixed in with the sweet, is a buttery-sour-y smell, too. I have no idea how to interpret this! Since all seems well, and I remember reading somewhere that smells from the hive can vary, and can include "musty", I'll not get too worried. However, I think I will inspect next weekend -- there seems to be a lot of new bees about, and a pretty crowded brood comb, so would like to see what's going on! (hmm -- have more pics, but am having trouble with the attachment function -- oh well!)

In the hive
7_22inhive1.jpg
through_glass1.jpg


The Window
window.jpg
 

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looking through the window and cursing myself for yet again forgetting to bring a flashlight.
Assuming you have an outer cover, leave a small LED flashlight in the hive on top of the bars. I leave a few things there instead of lugging them back and forth.

Another thing that has changed is some of the odor coming from the hive. Now, mixed in with the sweet, is a buttery-sour-y smell, too. I have no idea how to interpret this!
Is goldenrod blooming in FL yet? The nectar gives off a notoriously sour odor that you can smell 3 or 4 feet away from the hive. Then within about 4 or 5 days it matures and smells like butterscotch (to my nose, anyway). You might have other flowers that do the same thing.
 

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>buttery-sour-y smell

Goldenrod is often described as "butterscotch" by some. I say it smells like old gym socks...
Ha...yes, before it "matures," I would agree...I thought something had *died* in my hive the first time I smelled it. But afterward...definitely butterscotch. Maybe you've had too many bees fly up your nose???? ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I checked "The Melitto Files", a UF newsletter that includes a monthly report on what's blooming. Goldenrod is officially listed in August, but since nature tends to vary, it could be that! Sunday evening the hive was smelling somewhat less ripe, sweetness with just a hint of the sour. I've also noticed the bees have not been bringing back pollen, though there is a ton of action in and out of the hive. Our local bee club warned that no pollen collection meant no brood (which is probably a good thing during a dearth), but Seely mentions in "Wisdom of the Hive" that it's not such a simple equation -- the foragers collect pollen in response to how much pollen is currently in the hive. If they get the protein they want, then they don't collect it b/c it's plentiful. If they don't get the protein they want or it takes a really long time to find a bee to provide it, then they begin collecting pollen. That series of exchanges is related to how much brood is in the hive, so it's not quite a one-to-one correspondence.
 
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