Category: Queens

Regular

Hive checkup time!!!

Since it had been a while, I decided to go out and check on all the hives to see what was up. The natural swarm hive is doing about as well as expected from a hive untouched by man. (3, 4) Lots of comb and in a video I saw lots of capped cells. I also saw the queens in all the other hives so I know they’re in there.

The massive extraction colony (1, 2) is doing exceptionally well, and they seem to be hoarding all the honey. They have a huge hive beetle problem though so I’m not sure how they’re gonna fare. They don’t seem to know how to use the traps that I put in there, so the hive beetle population is huge. I might remove their inner cover to minimize beetle hiding space.

Easter Hiveland (5, 6, 7, 8) apparently swarmed right as the summer dearth hit so the colony doesn’t have any honey at the moment. They have lots of spotty brood and a queen though so I’ll hold out hope for them for a while. I might reduce them a little to hopefully ward off the hive beetles and keep them a little less spread out. They have quite a large population but they are only inhabiting the lower box for some reason.

And my latest little extraction (9) seems to have swarmed as well, but the remainder of the colony didn’t do so well. They have maybe a full frame’s worth of brood across three frames and no honey stored up. I moved them in to a nuc to keep them safe and hopefully ward off ant attacks. Their queen seems a little…lazy? I’m not sure what to call her. She doesn’t move much and her laying pattern is restricted to just the center of the frames.

The super-hive Florin (no photos) has consolidated their brood space. (I assume in preparation for the winter.) Now they only take up about 6-7 frames, and have another 5-6 frames of mixed pollen and honey in the front of the hive. I didn’t see any large honey reserves anywhere in the brood area, but they probably just have it stored further back. They are much more calm than usual which is rather concerning for me. I’m not sure what that means, but they usually are really defensive.

Good news: The natural swarm hive has eggs! I…

Good news: The natural swarm hive has eggs!

I took another quick look in to the swarm hive and actually took the time to brush some bees away closer to the middle of the combs. There were eggs!!! That means the queen is in there and happily laying away! That means that in a few weeks we are going to see a nice increase in their numbers~

Presenting Her Majesty, Queen Ahu of Easter Hi…

Presenting Her Majesty, Queen Ahu of Easter Hiveland!

This little queenie is actually not native to Easter Hiveland. Or at least isn’t part of their gene pool. I had to introduce a queen from Florin, because the original Easter Hiveland swarm was a clone swarm. (otherwise known as a colony of laying workers.)
They laid out maybe 2 partial frames of drones, then the new queen got right to laying out the rest of the combs. Now they have an incredible amount of both honey and proper brood, and I’m very proud of them for doing so well.
As of now they are still very nice bees, but once Ahu’s brood starts emerging they will quickly turn volatile. Though at least they will survive. That’s all that matters.

Yay! Wasps! “Whaaaat? Wasps? Yay? Why w…

Yay! Wasps!

“Whaaaat? Wasps? Yay? Why would that be a good thing?” you may ask.
Well wasps, particularly red wasps, are some of the first social queens to found new nests in the spring. That means that spring is coming soon!

This little bugger was hanging out with the Florin girls and flew off shortly after I took this pic.