Sunday, May 18, 2008


I installed my new queens last week, and today I inspected each of my two hives. Both hives released the queens as they should, and therefore both queen cages were empty.

In hive number two, which is my new hive that has only four frames of drawn comb, I did not see any eggs or larvae, but I did see the beautiful Italian queen walking on the comb. I need to mark her next time I inspect this hive. You can use any child safe/non-toxic paint to do so. I also noticed that both hives were quieter during my inspections. Hive number two seems to be starting to draw out the plastic frames, which they did not want to touch last time I inspected. As soon as they get some room, I expect this queen to be laying like crazy.

In hive number one, my original hive, I did not see the new Italian queen but that in itself does not concern me, because there are a lot more frames and more bees in hive number one. What does surprise me is that I saw capped brood! I inspected this hive one week ago and saw no eggs or larvae. It takes 9 days for worker brood to be capped, so either there was a queen, eggs and larvae that I missed last week or this new queen is breaking the rules in the book. I am really not sure what to make of this. This brood was on a white plastic frame, so I guess it is possible I could have missed the white eggs or white brood last week, but I am not so sure. I still did not see a queen, but given the capped brood and visible larvae, I am not to worried about this hive.

I have gone from not knowing anything about bees, to knowing everything (so I thought!) about bees, to realizing that they are complex creatures that will take years of study to understand. They are a challenging hobby.
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