|Bees have been very busy on these warm mid-October days.|
The two new hives were able to fill out enough stores for winter but no excess.
In all, we only got a scant gallon and a quart. Sadly, we had an open cock on our 5 gallon pail so when I poured honey from the extractor into the filters on the pail, we lost about a pint of precious honey before Kathy discovered our error and notified me with an ear-splitting shriek.
Upon examination of the main hive, I discovered the reason for the lack of energy we had noted was due to the absence of a queen. She either departed mid-summer or died, and they failed to make a new queen. Double eggs in cells, eggs planted on the sides of the cells, and no worker brood indicated some laying workers. So, what to do in September when you discover you have no queen, yet the other two hives are bursting at the seams and this hive also has many bees. I contacted a member of our local club, Dave, and he was able to provide me with a healthy, vigorous nuc. I did a newspaper combine and the bees seem to have taken to the new queen. A few weeks later, and the hive looks healthy and happy again. I probably will not go into the hive to confirm the queen is present and accepted, unless we get a really nice warm spell. Even then, things from the outside look much better and from somewhere the bees are busy bringing in some bright orange pollen, a good sign.