Monday, May 24, 2010

The good, the bad, and the down right terrible

The good:
Sun is rocking. Her hive is just humming along so well I gave them a new honey super. That is a box for people honey. I only took a through the top two boxes, but that is all I needed. There were a few queen cups - indicating a desire to swarm. This is totally normal for this time of year and there were no eggs in any of them. So the bees are just planning for a rainy day.

They are still using the back door entrance so checking on them is always a challenge. I have to stand somewhere but it is always best not to stand in front of an entrance to a hive. Where do I stand if they use the front AND the back!?

The bad:
Joy still has some larvae in the top honey super that have not emerged so I cannot get another super on them yet. I did get to see some really adorable eggs and larvae in the brood chamber - where they belong. They do have about six cells of capped honey and lots and lots of near honey. With the awesome weather coming up this week I am confident that they will cap more honey.

The down right terrible:
Pink is gone.

It was clear something was amiss in the hive. The smell was wrong and there is very little pollen coming in. I couldn't find eggs or even young larvae. The bees are filling up the brood chamber with honey and they are wicked productive, let me tell you. I could barely lift the brood chamber it had so much honey.

What ever happened was a surprise to the bees because there is no supercedure cell. That is the way a hive usually makes a new queen - they start a queen cell in the middle of a frame. I looked carefully and found nothing even close to a supercedure cell.

This leaves me with two choices 1) give them some eggs from one of the other hives and let them make a new queen or 2) buy a mated queen from a local beekeeper.

Given that there are still a boatload of bees in the hive and they are still fairly calm I am leaning toward buying a new queen from the same dealer I purchased Red, Pink's mom three years ago. I hate to loose too much time just before the peak of nectar flow.

I am really quite sad to see this line end. I have always loved belonging to Red and Pink. They both had a real gentle streak that made me so happy to be a beekeeper.

1 comment:

  1. So what do you do about all the nectar in the brood chamber - do you spin it out?

    I have a hive that is like that - 2 deeps with some brood and a lot of nectar. Don't know what to do about it...


Thanks for visiting and checking on the bees!
Let me know what you are thinking...