Saturday, March 7, 2009

Well, one out of three ain't bad! I guess....

So I went out today and did a full inspection. It was sunny and 80 degrees! Here is a picture of the hives:

The apiary, March 2009

As I've stated earlier, I was encouraged that all three hives were active, and that they were all bringing in pollen and nectar.

Well, with my first inspection, I was to be quite disappointed.

In Jabez, I found quite a few bees, pollen, and nectar. However, as I delved deeper into the hive, not only did I not find the queen, I did not even see SIGNS of one! There were no eggs, no brood, no larvae...nothing!

Disturbed, I put the hive back together and went to hive 2, the Russians. When I opened it, I saw more bees, but still not too many. And my following inspection revealed the exact same situation as in Jabez!

Finally, I gave hive 3 a shot. When I opened it, there were twice as many bees looking at me! So I started into the medium super that I had left on over the winter. And what to my wandering eyes should appear? Larvae!! Capped brood!! Eggs!!! About the fourth frame in, I found this:
Can you find the queen?

What, you can't see it?

How about this:
The only surviving queen!

There she was in all her resplendent glory! Her Majesty the Queen, going about her duties with her attendants in tow! Hooray! Hoorah! Long Live the Queen!

So, I am relieved that there is a hive that is starting to boom, but discouraged about the other two. I'm now trying to decide whether to get some new queens, or just let them go.....


Linda T said...

Steve, Take a frame of brood and newly laid eggs and put it in the strongest of the two apparently queenless hives. They then have the resources to make their own queen or if there is a queen, just unmated, she won't be disturbed and you'll give them a boost of brood.

Steve J. said...

Thanks Linda! I'm going to wait a bit to let the strong hive build up, and then I'll probably snag a frame of brood. I've been advised by the folks on Beemaster to let the Russians be, that there may actually be a queen around there. I'll keep you updated!
Thanks for visiting!