last hive check on tuesday

Went back to the “problem hive” on tuesday afternoon. I’d accidentally left my regular beesuit at home along with my hive tools, etc, since I’d cleaned out my trunk…so instead I used the XL version that I bought for visitors. Found two screw drivers to use as hive tools. Turned out to be good enough for my short visit.

I got my smoker goin’ and headed into hive 2- giving them a few warning puffs at the entrance to the hive and under the top cover. Again, they seemed quite lively/loud as I took off the cover. Noted that one of the sugar water canning jars was empty. the other three had about half to a quarter of syrup left.
My goal for this visit was to check to see if the new queen that the hive was rearing had emerged. She had…the little peanut shell-like cell had been eaten through on one end. I continued to look to see if I could find her, but given the lifecycle of a queen (3 days as an egg, 9 days as larvae, 4 days as pupae till emerging= 16 days), it was unlikely that she had gone on a mating flight yet…which happens usually about a week after emerging…I think.
So backing out the last time I saw the closed up queen cell on sun may 6th, at best she was probably prepping for her mating flight by now.

So, I am learning that not only is a beekeeper a landlord of thousands of bees…s(he) is also a detective…determining what is going on with only a snapshot of activity at hand.

I continued to look thru most of the frames and saw more double eggs and larvae, presumably from the laying worker bee, as well as some capped brood, which was drone brood (you can tell this by the way the capped cell protrudes from the comb.) Laying worker bees can lay only drone brood…so this fit with my mentor’s assessment of things.

I emailed Tim with my findings and he said to just keep watching it, but likely he will catch a swarm (he is on the local “swarm list”- a bee catcher per se) and install it into this hive. It is probably better to have a queen that is not reared from her own hive- for some reason such instances cause a hive’s production to be weaker. Guess it is genetic or something.

I will likely go back in this weekend to refuel their sugar syrup. Will take some pictures of both hives, since I’ve gotten some requests for such.


One Response to “last hive check on tuesday”
  1. Parad0x
    05.21.2007

    Yeppers – let’s see pictures!


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