A Peek Inside the Hive

Honeybees are usually seen outside the hive, buzzing to and fro, alighting on flowers to gather nectar and pollen and bring it back to the hive.

Rarely does a non-beekeeper get to see what happens inside the hive after that honeybee, with full honey stomach and loaded pollen baskets, crosses the threshold.

During the summer months, honeybee hives are abuzz with activity. Aside from foraging outside the hive, colonies are hard at work inside the hive -- building comb, fighting off pests, cleaning and making repairs, and raising new generations – all in the small confines of manmade and natural hives.

If you looked inside a healthy hive this time of year, it would look much like this photos -- with tens of thousands of honeybees scurrying across rows and rows of hexagonal honeycomb cells.

Those cells contain various levels of pollen, nectar, honey, and brood (unhatched baby bees).

Honeybees do all this in a very meticulous manner, arranging all their goods in a specific pattern -- brood toward the middle, surrounded by pollen, and finally honey stores.

A skilled eye can tell which capped (covered) cells contain honey, pollen or brood. But to the layman, it can be a dizzying sight.