Thursday, May 6, 2010

Inspection 5-06-10

It was a decent weather day today. There was a little rain in the morning - spotty. Then it warmed up, but there was a little wind. Certainly a good day for doing an inspection.

Green Hive

The green hive continues to do well. Here's an example of a frame with good brood on it:

There were a few frames like this, and all appears to be going well. I saw the queen too (that green dot sure helps!).

Last time I saw a swarm cell (which I removed). This time I saw a few bottom bar queen cups, but they were empty of both larvae and royal jelly. So they aren't (yet) serious about swarming. I did move around a few frames to free up some laying room. I'll definitely keep an eye on things.

But... I did see a very weird frame. Take a look:

The bees decided to do a little sideways building on this frame. I'll have more to say about this in my next post.

Also, the bees haven't done anything in the top honey super yet...

Brown Hive

Remember this hive doesn't have a queen. They were working on a couple of queen cells last time I checked, so I was specifically looking for those. Here's what I found for the two queen cells:

Notice the first one; the opening is nice and round, looking like a queen was born. Now notice the second one - jagged and torn open, almost like it was attacked by the queen from the first cell. At least that's what I'm claiming.

I looked around and didn't see a queen, but at this point she would be the same size as the workers (since she is unmated) and very hard to find. I didn't want to disturb things by doing too much of a search, so I put things back together. Previously I had added a frame of eggs and larvae, and those cells are nice and capped now. So I think there will continue to be enough bees to support the new queen.

According to bee math, I should see some eggs around 12 days from now (at the latest). I'll probably leave things alone in that hive until then. There is lots of space for the (new) queen to lay in that hive! If this doesn't work, I'll buy a queen...


  1. do you see many drones? And would the new queen mate with drones from the green hive? Or with the neighbors in the brown hive? Or would there be wild drones flying around that she would mate with? How do they find her (and she them)?

  2. I am seeing a lot of drone cells in the Green hive. I also learned from the county bee inspector that there are quite a few beekeepers in my town. I don't think the queen will have a problem finding a mate.

    As to how the male and female bees find each other, that is still a mystery. Here's an article which talks about Drone Congregation Areas.

  3. Ha ha! Other insects and even small birds are avidly chased by the drones! It sounds like sailors on shore leave!


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