On the second inspection we did some video which you saw in the previous post... and my third inspection on 5/15 was extremely similar, so I opted to post some photos instead. (I've been traveling, sorry for the delay!) The most remarkable thing is that there is some truly incredible BRIGHT ORANGE pollen the girls are coming home with-- it looks just like that artificial popcorn salt they use in popping machines! And it is staining the wood on the frames and even making the comb look yellow.
I made a couple of clumsy errors on this inspection that made me feel like a terrible "bee momma." First, I was trying out my new frame grip, and I didn't grip it tight enough, I guess, because I dropped a frame and it landed hard right back in Thelma's hive! The girls did not like that AT ALL. I finished the inspection but they were not happy about it. I was glad it was not a heavy brood frame, just a light one with nectar storage.
And THEN... when I inspected Louise's hive, I had a nice long sighting of Louise. She was just hanging out, walking around for a while on this one frame. I even got photos of her (below). I put the frame back in, and as I put the hive back together and was packing up my tools, I saw one big bee walking on the ground. It was LOUISE!!!! (She is huge and has a white paint dot on her back, that's how I knew.) I guess she fell off when I was putting her frame back in the hive. I almost had a heart attack. What if I hadn't seen her? Or if I had stepped on her? I picked her up with my hand and put her back in the entrance. I was so happy to see her waltz on in and be safe.
I have taken off the top feeders that were causing so many drowned bees, and I replaced them with small pail feeders called the "Collins Ultimate Bee Feeder." So far so good, but it did attract the hive beetles when I put feeders back on the hives. So the CD case traps you saw in the last video don't seem to be doing much. I am going to use some other strategies for the hive beetles soon.
Here are the photos from my bumbling 5/15/11 inspection-- all of them can be clicked to see a larger view: