Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Inspection--mixed

We did an inspection of the new hive, with some mixed results.  We did not find the queen, though bees were pretty cooperative.  We did locate the brood chamber in the lower hive body (2 mediums), with the upper still mostly honey and empty frames just beginning to be drawn out.  It has been 16 days since the queen was released and there were capped brood cells as well as small larvae.  I only noticed one drone cell, which tells me we don't have a laying worker, which is obviously good.  So, though we didn't find the queen, given the easy temperament of the bees and the presence of capped cells and larvae, she seems to be well and doing her job.
We also found a who lot of dead bees, in fact littering the screened floor of the bottom board.  We pulled the lower hive body off and dumped that out.  There were also a number of dead bees that seemingly had been crushed when we did the split, though I felt we were being as careful as could be that day.  We must have injured way more than we realized.
Another interesting thing was, as we were closing the hive up, we saw one worker going viciously after a drone.  We only watched a short time but I will have to research this a bit to see if it was more than just some general male bashing!
We looked in the top of the 3 bodies on the old hive to see if they were drawing that out.  Clearly more bees in that hive and they were busy in the top with the beginnings of the drawing process.
White clover is just coming into bloom, so we hope to see a lot more pollen coming into the hives with temps in the 70's and even some mid-80's on the horizon.

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