I opened up my hive for just the second time this morning.
I had my first swam – a cast – around 6 weeks ago. All looked fine through the windows – lots of comb being built & no slowdown so I’d left them well alone. Today I wanted to try and have a look without a smoker – which on reflection wasn’t a good idea – they were super agitated when I lifted out one of the bars (it’s a Warré hive). All seems fine – brood cells etc – so I think I have a functioning colony.
But I have 2 questions:
– will the colony get used to being inspected without a smoker ? (Does the smoker do any harm ?)
– there were around 12 dead bees on the floor of the hive – is this normal & do the bees clean up their dead ?