I have to admit I have been dreading looking in hive #2 for sometime now. After the last inspection reveled that they were in the process of re-queening I have been very worried that I might have to combine to two hives if the attempt was not successful. I defiantly put off inspection for a few days longer than I needed to.
But, yesterday I put on my big girl panties and went for it.
The outside frames of hive #2 are still not drawn out all the way but they are being filled with nectar and even some capped honey.
I was pleasantly surprised when on the third frame in I found…
This was what we needed! They were plentiful and in a nice laying pattern. All the little deposits right in the bottom middle of the cell like they should be.
Sometimes when you have a laying worker bee (not a good thing) the eggs will be on the sides of the cells (since their abdomen is not really long enough to get it down where they need to be.)
From this I can tell that it is more than likely we have a new queen! Over the next couple weeks I will be able to tell if she is fertile or if she is laying drones. When a queen is infertile she still lays, infertile eggs are male (drones) and fertile eggs are female (workers.)
So an infertile queen will still lay you will just end up with all boys and no workers and that is bad.
I saw some capped brood and it was all of the small verity (drones are bigger and the capped brood bump out noticeably from the frame.)
I was unpleased that the aforementioned double comb was again stick to both sides of the frames it was in between. When I went to get the frame out a large section of honey laden comb fell off into the hive.
This is not ideal for so many reasons;
First it could have squashed the new queen and we would be back where we were a couple weeks ago. Second I now again have to reach into to the hive to retrieve these errant pieces, yah for me.
I got them out with little collateral damage and no stings.
After conferming that we do have a laying queen again and cleaning up the double comb mess- all I wanted to do was close it up quickly and move on to the other hive.
I didn’t locate the new queen but eggs mean that she was laying 1-3 days ago and that is enough for me.
The other hive was looking good, drawing out the comb in second box I added last week.
Lots of brood in this hive, and decent pollen/nectar stores too. You can see brood, pollen and nectar all in this one picture. If you look close you can see some of the bees feeding one another.
It looks like workers feeding new drones (the boys do almost nothing for themselves) The drones have much larger eyes and bodies.
Or they are all just making out… who knows.
Again, I didn’t see the queen but I saw direct evidence that she is alive and well.
I have to admit I spent a lot of time kind of spacing out looking at the action on the frames. Their contented buzzing has this amazing calming effect.
It is really funny to think that you can be holding thousands of venomous stinging insects and forget. Until you move too quick and they agitate. Reminding you that you are holding a large mass of stingers. There is a very fine line between an inspection and a lot of pain. Plus I still don’t wear gloves and since it has been hot I was in a tee-shirt.
They are so interesting though!
The nectar flow is on. The girls all seem happy and busy and that is enough for me!