Thursday, June 13, 2013

All Hives Queen Right

Computing the time it would take for worker bee larva to be capped, I decided today would be a good day to look at my hive #3, the 8 framer.  Temperature right around 80, lower humidity, clear skies and gentle breeze--nice day to look at the bees. 
First, in the top box, I found a number of frames with eggs.  Many did not seem to be planted right in the center of the cell, which continued to bother me.  I saw no capped cells or even older larva in the top box.  Right away looking in the bottom box, however, I found frames with good looking patterns of capped worker cells.  Fantastic.  This must be a very shy queen, since I did not see her again but then once I satisfied myself that I had a laying queen, not laying workers, I put the hive back together and closed her up.

It's a bit hard to see with so many bees covering the cells, but the center of each frame was solidly filled with capped worker cells.  I did not see any new drone cells.
Then I looked at the hive which I expanded from the nuc into a 10 frame medium hive body.  I was not really expecting to find a queen or evidence of a queen, but on the third frame I looked at I saw shiny, small larva down in some cells.  On the next frame I found the queen right away, a big, fat, healthy looking queen.  She looked like her mama, who has been an exceptional layer. 
It will be interesting to see how things develop.  Clearly, the hive I introduced the hygenic queen into has a head start.  If the other queen performs like her mother, however, she just might catch up.  How these queens will do as far as honey production, however, remains to be seen.  With all the bees I have in hive #2, they still are being a bit slow drawing out the comb in the second super I put on last week.  It isn't for lack of workers--there were probably 2000 bees just hanging out under the top cover.  We're a bit dry here, and plenty of clover present, so hopefully we'll start seeing some honey produced.

2 comments:

  1. I'm curious about that hygenic queen. Is she suppose to create workers that are more resilient to mites?

    I wonder if some of the bees are getting a late start with the honey make because of all the rain we've had in the midwest. I planted tons of clover for our bees and it never grew when we actually had the hives and this year it has taken over the lawn about 60% so I keep hoping someone in the area has bees that will visit.

    I hope you get lots and lots of honey this year. Your bees sure look great!!

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  2. Hey, Michelle. Yes, the hygenic queens were developed by Marla Spivak at the U. of Minn. They groom one another more than the typical bee, is my understanding, which dislodges the mites. If you use a screened bottom board the mites cannot return to the hive. Sorry about the clover--I hope some bees do take advantage of it. I used to hate it but seeing how the bees love it I now deliberately cut the grass high except around the house so the clover remains. Maybe we can trade some honey for soap!

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