Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Queen Status in the Bee Yard: Two Queens Up!

Well, we have two queen right colonies out of our three hives and the third has at least four capped queen cells so they are busy rearing new queens. All should be well in that hive in another few weeks.

May 12 -- added another frame of brood with two queen cells from the big hive to the nuc. Checked the swarmed hive and it has a laying queen. Bravo! We will call her Queen Bianca Ella (2015).

Today, May 20 -- Beautiful day in upper 70s, sunny and cloudless with light breeze. Thoroughly checked all three hives. Used a little smoke, but the bees were mostly calm. We saw Queen Bianca for the first time. What a lovely lady! She is from 2014 so this is her second season. She is in the nuc so we must have inadvertently moved her last week when we took out the additional frame of brood from the large hive. That is providential because it will delay the large hive from swarming. Queen Bianca's kingdom is working hard bringing in nectar and pollen so we added an additional box (she now has two) and rotated the hive 45 degrees back toward the southeast and the orientation of the other hives in the bee yard.. We also gave the hive a larger opening. The bees were a little confused with the changes, but will no doubt orient themselves and go home to mama.

We didn't see Queen Anya, but saw lots of capped and uncapped brood so she is doing a good job. There are plenty of empty frames in that hive for the bees to work in so we left it as is.

The large hive (no name for now since it has no queen) is still going gangbusters bringing in nectar. There is still some capped brood from their queen right days and at least four queen cells. They may, however already have a virgin queen since they had capped queen cells last week. There are probably a dozen frames that are mostly honey but not all capped. We hope next week to have enough capped honey in that hive to replace honey frames with empty frames so the ladies have plenty of room and can continue working.

We are very pleased with the way things are going in the bee yard and hope to have a great honey harvest this year. Go, Ladies, go!

Looks like it's time to put together some new boxes so we can keep up with the bees. We only have one unused one left and we'll need that for a nuc we are getting from another beekeeping friend.

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