weekly hive check
I went in the problem hive quickly on monday to see what was going on.
There was still very little progress, two boxes, perhaps 5-6 frames with comb drawn between both boxes, few eggs, some brood, and some capped brood, and some capped honey. I also noticed what appeared to me to be a swarm cell in the lower box…a queen (peanut shell looking cell) was in the making. I learned from Tim that a queen cell found on the lower third of a frame is a swarm cell, whereas a queen cell found on the upper portion of a frame would be a replacement queen – as in the old queen was ailing or dead. Well, since this hive was nowhere near being over crowded or in need of swarming, I was a bit confused by this finding. I went ahead and “deleted” this swarm cell, hoping I was making the right choice given what I was seeing. White goo oozed from the cell and I had to banish from my thoughts the loss of bee life that I’d just inflicted.
I later called Tim and he said that since this hive consists of bees that had swarmed previously, that perhaps they were obsessive compulsive bees and just had swarm behavior on their minds. (see, this is the sense of bees that I just don’t grasp yet) In his infinite wisdom of how bees behave, Tim reassured me that I’d acted appropriate to the situation.
I didn’t have time to go into the other hive…will go back on thursday to check on it.
I ordered more hive equipment as Tim said I should be prepared to have up to 6 or 7 boxes max on each hive. Four of the boxes would be left on the hive all winter and the rest (2-3 boxes) would be my bounty of honey (I think there is ~ 25lbs of honey per box). That problem hive has alot of catching up to do.
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