Today was the day I planned to release the new queen into the Blue Nuc. Quite anti-climactic; I removed the stick I had plugging the hole in the queen cage, and then set the cage down on top of the frames. A few seconds later, the queen walked out and went down into the hive. The bees were very excited to have a queen (I can just tell!). I didn't take any pictures...
I did notice that this hive was very light in stores. So I robbed a frame of honey from the Brown Hive (which was looking a little honey-bound) and added it to the nuc.
I gave the Brown Nuc a quick peek - Saturday I brought some frames with swarm cells on them. Sure enough, a queen had hatched:
One of the first things a new born queen does is go around and destroy any other (not yet hatched) queen cells. Usually you know this by seeing an empty queen cell which has been chewed through the side (when a queen hatches, she chews through the end). But this is the first time I've seen a queen cell chewed through with the poor queen still in there!
This is the nuc from which I "stole" the queen to give to the Blue Nuc. It looks like they are drawing out some queen cups, but I didn't see anything obvious for making a new queen. I'll give it some more time.
I was expecting to see more brood in this hive, but was surprised to see just older brood. Some more examination found one of these!
It looks like this hive swarmed sometime earlier, and there is now a virgin queen in there (I didn't see her, since I wasn't expecting to need to look for an unmarked queen). Neither my wife or I have noticed any swarming activities (she is home most of the day), but both this hive and the Brown Hive have swarmed this year. Now I wait to see when the queen starts laying...
Still making honey, but not yet ready to take. Lots of nectar though. I had a shallow super which has some wax moth damage. I added it to this hive to let the bees clean it up.
Lots of changes in these last few weeks. I updated the "Queen Bee Heritage" link on the right side of this blog with the latest information.
We have some Salvia plants and the honey bees and bumble bees were all over it! Here's the best picture I was able to take - those darn bugs don't sit still on command!