From my paucity of apiary posts lately, you would be forgiven for thinking that when my bees absconded, my beekeeping enthusiasm left with them. However, the truth is that the package we installed in our Warre hive has been bulking up nicely — I’ve just been following the rules and leaving the hive closed.
Due to the wonders of modern technology, though, I can refrain from cracking open the hive and can still get an idea of what’s going on inside. Once a week, I snap a shot through the screened bottom board. The photos are generally subpar in terms of quality, but do let me keep an eye on the bees’ progress.
We installed the package on April 27, and the first photo in this post shows what the bees looked like two days later. They were simply a tight cluster of bodies enclosing the queen, who was still trapped in her cage.
Eleven days after installation, my non-intrusive inspection showed a little bit of comb being built. If I’d opened the hive, I would have been able to see whether the queen was laying, and on the off-chance she wasn’t, could have ordered a replacement queen. With a Warre hive, you have to simply hope for the best (and pay attention to the hive’s mood, smell, and sound).
Rest of report here: http://www.waldeneffect.org/blog/Observing_a_young_Warre_hive/