Back from breakfast out and not wearing our bee jackets we decided to give Annabelle’s unoccupied area a quick peek before starting our day. The chamber looked largely unoccupied and the syrup baggie unchanged in volume.
But there seemed a little movement under the follower board. As we watched some small hive beetles crawled out and back under, exploring and being repulsed by the light. We started crushing them with the ends of the top-bars we had removed. The thumping caused some bees to investigate and they promptly began chasing the beetles.
The bad news is that we saw about a score of beetles, a disturbing number. The good news (besides our killing that score of beetles) is that the bees are actively going after them. The girls can not really do much damage to the little armored fiends but it may suffice to keep them contained. We did see one bee manage to pick up a beetle and carry it off away from the hive. Soon we shall have to suit up and check the comb for damage.