Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Swarm in the works?

My hive is doing so well that I am a little bit afraid that my bees might try and swarm on me. Last weekend, when I inspected my hive, I convinced myself that the cells in this picture were just drone cells. However, looking back it appears that these are the beginnings of swarm cells. I am going to have to keep my eye on these, and possibly pull a nuc off this hive in an attempt to prevent a swarm. The benefit of that is that I will get a second hive, but the downside is that my honey production will not be as great as it otherwise would have been.

Another downside is that I will owe my wife $20. She claims that she can read animal behavior very well, and before I even inspected the hive she bet me $20 that the bees were planning on swarming. I agreed to take the bet. She told me that she can read animal behavior so well, she could see that our cat wanted in on the action for $1. So now it looks I am out $21. Rats.

The benefit of letting your bees raise their own queen is that it causes a break in the brood cycle, which does not hurt the bees so much but it does hurt the varroa mites which reproduce in capped cells.
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