Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bee Log 29: April 14, 2010

Two of the above pictures are of a beautiful capped queen cell taken from one of our hives. One picture includes a pair of pliers for scale. The third picture is 12 hives assembled and ready for the bees that arrive on Saturday. The hives will be placed in 7 backyards around north Seattle.

We finally got a nice enough day that we could go through our hives and see what was going on. The hive that has been swarming out and then back in (!) each day has no queen. There are a few capped drone brood but other than that there are no eggs or brood. A drone emerges from his cell in 24 days after the egg is laid so this hive has likely been queenless for about 3 weeks. A queen is coming on Friday so hang on bees!

Another hive is normal, crowded and storing honey in the two supers on top of the hive. The third hive has lots of brood but no eggs. That is the hive that we got the queen cell from. We cut it out because it is still too cold for a new queen to get out to mate. We think that the lack of eggs means that the hive is preparing to swarm. If they can wait until Friday, we will split the hive and put a new queen in the hive without the queen. This is the hive with three deep boxes and lots of bees so we are hoping the the queen won't be hiding! Splitting means that we put half the frames with attached bees in one hive and half in another box. The trick is knowing which box has the current queen.

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