Friday, July 30, 2010

Becoming Queen Right

I think we are on our way to becoming queen right.

Both hives have had queen problems this summer and both have superceded. Georgia was the first to supercede and develop her own new queen. It took a couple of weeks to get her legs under her and start laying well, but after today's inspection I have concluded that she is doing a great job. Down in her brood nest I found lots of capped brood, larva, and eggs all in a nice tight pattern. Will the new bees from this queen get up and foraging before the nectar flow slows down? I hope so- I would like to see them put away a little more honey for me before the end of the summer.

As far as Georgia's honey supers go, she has not made progress in the newest super full of empty frames I put on a while back. She is putting honey back into the super we extracted a few weeks ago. It is almost completely filled back up with nectar/honey. None of it is capped yet though.

The bottom super (just above the deep hive bodies) was the first to be filled with honey. Once the bees had filled it, I pulled the queen excluder off and let that super of honey act as an excluder to keep the queen from going any higher. Today I discovered that the bees have been removing honey from the bottom half of the center frames in that super. It looks like they are trying to give the queen more space to lay. This happened earlier in the summer, too. At that time I reversed brood boxes to move the queen back down to the bottom box, and the bees filled the super back in with honey. I opted not to do that today. With the problems the queens have been having this summer I decided to leave well enough alone. Will I get brood in the honey super? Maybe. I will deal with that if and when it happens.

Virginia has had more of a rough time with her queens this summer. I think one supercedure attempt failed, and she had to give it a second try. By the time the second attempt was completed the hive was completely broodless. I ordered a new queen from Old Sol Enterprises thinking that the second attempt had failed, but last week I discovered a few eggs and larva. The new queen was supposed to have shipped on Monday and arrived sometime this week. Either the guy at Old Sol meant the queen would be shipped next Monday or I miss understood because no queen has arrived. No matter, in today's inspection I found eggs, larva, and capped brood. The pattern is not great but it took Georgia's queen a little while to settle down and get going properly. It looks like Virginia is on her way to becoming queen right as well. If the new queen does arrive next week I will try to find Virginia's queen and replace her with Old Sol's. I think that I would rather have a queen from proven stock rather than a queen from an earlier queen that had to be superceded in her second year.


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