Saturday, May 30, 2009

"Good News" or "The Return of the Queen"

Well, after the boy scout trip to my hives, I was concerned! The new package I had installed two weeks previously showed no signs of a queen, with no eggs or larvae in sight. And I could not find the queen anywhere for the scouts. I thought that surely after two weeks, there would be some sign of activity!

When I checked my other hive, I found evidence of a drone layer. How I hate those! You can tell you have one when you see eggs in the cells that are not in the center of the cell, and sometimes you will see two or three eggs in a cell. This is because the worker that has taken it upon herself to lay eggs is not built for the job. Unfortunately, the other bees then think they have a queen, which makes it difficult to introduce a new queen.

So I ordered a queen from Rossman Apiaries ( and had them mark her!). She arrived on May 28th. I hadn't decided which hive to put her into. I opened the new package hive, and found eggs!! My enthusiasm at this discovery was tempered, however, by the thought that maybe I had another drone layer after two weeks without a queen. But as I looked further, I found no double-egg cells, and all the eggs looked to be fine. So I kept looking. The next frame was full of eggs and little larvae, with just a few capped cells. On the third frame, I found the queen!!! An actual queen!! YES! I was quite excited!! Apparently, she needed some time to acclimate to the new surroundings, but there she was, working away!! I carefully put the hive back together so as not to squish Her Highness, and closed up the hive.

In the third hive, I found the same situation as reported earlier. No queen, and double-egg cells. So I have introduced my new queen into this hive, and plan on going out in a couple days and checking on her. I don't have high hopes, as requeening a drone-laying hive can be spotty at best, and my last attempt failed miserably. But I at least have one successful queen working!!

Here's to a great summer!!
Heavy Hives!