Monday, June 13, 2011

Queenright!

It was time to check hive #2 for a queen and to see how well the super was being filled out.  As you can see above, there was good, normal activity on the hive apron, bees coming and going with orange pollen and likely nectar.  After the swarm, it took awhile for this hive to settle down but now has a good, busy normal look to it.

The super has been getting some attention, with several frames already at least half-filled with capped honey.  I was surprised at the number of drones flying around,  something I had noticed with this hive on the previous inspection.  Things were going pretty well until I had a frame slip out of my hands, the first time this has happened.  They seemed to settle down pretty quickly, though, and we proceeded to look deeper into the hive.

This was the third frame I pulled out of the top of our 3 brood-nest boxes.  If you click on the photo and zoom, you will see very young larva and even a couple eggs.  We were very happy to see this, and I had a pretty good notion the queen might be on this frame.  I turned it over, and noticed a clump of bees in one corner--and there she was.  See if you can find her in the photo below (look just left of center).
She has the long, yellow abdomen.  Although we had only found the two supercedure cells last week when we looked, I was certainly hoping one would turn out to produce a queen.  The brood are very young, and if we had looked even as early as yesterday we probably would have assumed there was still not a laying queen.  We were certainly happy to see this.  I thought the hive was looking and behaving like it was queenright, and it sure turned out the be that way.
Our new queen should arrive in the mail tomorrow, and we'll put her in a nuc.  I'll check hive #1 next week, and if there is still no queen present there we'll eventually add her to that hive.  I think it takes about 3 weeks before a hive will begin to make laying workers, so I don't want to delay too long.  If we have a queen, we'll start hive #3.

4 comments:

  1. My nightmare... dropping a frame. I can only imagine how that went :( Things are looking good. I hope you get lots of honey this year.

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  2. Fortunately it was just a honey frame from the super with mostly drones on it. I have no idea why so many drones are hanging out in there. They have to be using the top opening because there is no way their huge bodies would go through the excluder.

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  3. Do you drill any openings in your honey supers? We have 1 inch holes in our hive bodies but none in the supers and wondered if that was a mistake?

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  4. We have notched inner cover so they can get access to the super through the notch.

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