May 25, 2015

Back to Beekeeping

When you install a queen from a queen cage, you need to remove a middle frame from the hive to make room for it to hang until she's released. You may remember my adventurous Abigail took off and then came back to me. So I flung her inside the hive and shut it down. I never put the extra frame in its place, because I didn't want to squish or lose her.

Fast forward 3 weeks when I went to take the top cover off, and found that they'd built their own frame of comb attached to the top cover. Abigail lovingly laid all her eggs on both sides, and it was capped brood comb - hundreds and hundreds of almost baby bees. However, when I lifted the top cover up, the brood comb detatched (pictured above) and fell crashing to the ground.

And they were mad. Pissed, if you will. And one informed me of her displeasure by stinging me in the inside of my left thigh. Sweetbabyjesus did that suck.

But the good news is Abigail and Caroline's hives are doing well. Caroline's is a bit slower than Abigail's, but that's okay. There are eggs and larvae, so all is well.

Beatrice's hive is a bust. A worker with delusions of grandeur must have killed her right away, because there have never been eggs. And now, there is a laying worker. Which means an unfertilized female is laying eggs - thereby creating a hive full of drones. Essentially, the hive is dead.

I kept debating whether or not to get a new queen. But when I checked the supplier from last year, they are shipping this week, so I hit 'buy'. If this doesn't work, then I am just rolling with two hives.

So there you have it. 2 out of 3 are running, and hopefully the third will be back in business later this week. In the meantime, Benadryl + Aloe gel is great stuff.

No comments: