Thursday, June 25, 2015

Lookin' Good

Bad words to use, I suppose, but I'm feeling pretty good right now.  I've had some difficulty with hives this spring, which seems to have become the norm.  Trying to split one hive a couple ways can be tricky.  For example:  I thought I'd take a couple frames from hive #1, the strong hive, that made it through the winter and, despite taking a couple splits from it, still seemed overflowing with bees. I was putting those frames of bees in hive #3, which has been a bit slow to grow.  I had gotten a new queen for #1, which, despite having a huge number of bees, seemed to be queenless.   Workers were filling all the frames with honey and there was no larva or eggs present.
So, I got the new queen, very pretty with an iridescent blue marking, into the hive, having also removed a couple of frames to put in the weak hive.  Now, #1 is a big hive, 5 medium boxes--48 frames total.  I put the queen in and put the hive back together. I picked up one of the frames I had set aside and--guess what--there was the big fat queen from number 1.   She apparently just shut down for a bit.  What was the chance that I'd have the queen on one of 48 frames?  Crazy.  So, what to do?  I had an extra queen and certainly wasn't going to let her go to waste.  I quickly put together a new hive and put the queen in there with the two frames and closed things up.  I added more bees later, and now have 4 queenright hives.

Can you spot the queen?


It has really been a fantastic growing spring and early summer, with mild temps and abundant moisture.  The prairie is growing well, and pollinators of all sorts are taking advantage.  Too bad the bees and butterflies like the thistle--we're doing our best to kill it off.  The buttterfly milkweed is popular too.




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