Monday, May 9, 2011

Sutton Check

Last Sunday I hived two packages in Sutton. On Saturday I went out to make sure the queen was released. Every once in a while a package will abscond (just up and leave) after hiving, and while it is rare, I didn't want to discover that in Sutton.

When I got to the hives, I saw some good activity at both hives - good news; they are still there! I needed to take out the queen cages and put in the 10th frame (check here last week to see the queen cage in between two frames).

Bees, especially new hives from a package, are geared up to build comb (that's what a swarm would do first thing upon finding a new home, and a package is not much more than an artificial swarm). So like has happened before, the bees built comb in the gap left by the queen cage.

Here's what I pulled out of hive #1:

They had built two lobes of comb off of the queen cage! The queen had been released (in both hives), by the way - the main thing I was checking for.

You can also see here they added some comb in the gap, attached to the side of the frame:

All in all, this is what I removed from the hives:

I checked some frames to see if the queen was laying. The frames had a lot of bee activity on them:

They were bringing in a lot of pollen and nectar, but I didn't see any eggs, in either hive. It's not too much a cause for concern, for often after she is released, the queen takes a few days to start laying (after all, she had been confined many days in the queen cage).

I'll check next week or so to make sure she is doing her job.

By the way, I am calling the left hive Sutton Hive #1, and the right on Sutton Hive #2 (I know, not as imaginative as some peoples' naming, but it suits me).

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