Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bee Log 23: March 31, 2010

I decided to combine one set of split hives and leave the other set alone. The pictures above show the new very large hive with the unoccupied pieces lying around. I will wait for the bees to go in tonight before I put those pieces away. The piece of newspaper between the combined hive bodies is for peace. It gives the bees a little time before they are combined as one unit again. The queen is in the topmost large box (deep box). The workers will chew up the newspaper into little tiny pieces and drop it onto the bottom of the hive. We combined hives one other time and the bees sounded like they were snipping with a thousand tiny scissors. This hive may have three deep boxes all summer or we may try to do a split again when we can get a queen.

Today turned out sunnier and warmer than expected. The other set of split hives were from the day of the swarm one week ago. That was the swarm that went back into the hive. I understand that the swarms tend to happen about 5 days before the new queen hatches. We left plenty of queens developing in their peanut shaped cells when we did the split so I imagine that the new queen has now hatched. If the queen can mate at temperatures in the mid to high 50's then we might have a viable hive. What we need to do in about a week is go through those hives and check for eggs. In that way we will know which hives have a queen. We never did see that old queen when we were doing the split. Both hives seem normal from the outside. With the two hives that I combined, I knew which hive had the queen (saw her) and the other hive was acting frantic flying all over the place in front of the hive.

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