Sunday, June 8, 2008
Last Sunday we did another inspection. It was then three weeks since we had installed the hives. By then we had given both hives plenty of time to settle in and they should have had plenty of time to draw comb, and have brood at all stages from eggs to larvae and maybe baby bees almost ready to be born...
Unfortunately there were no signs at ALL of any stage of brood. We had not seen either Queen and could see no eggs at all. Having taken advice from other beekeepers we had given them plenty of time and not rushed into requeening as many people do. The hives were not showing signs of being Queenless apart from not having brood which is why we had not rushed into anything
However, with our short Summer season it was now time to order Queens. So we ordered new Queens on Monday and on Thursday evening Lloyd picked up two Californian Queens from Beemaid. We unplugged the corks and plugged them with marshmallow and hung them in the hives so the hive bees would eat the marshmallow over the next day or so - this again gives the hive time to get used to the Queen and accept her before she is released into the hve from the cage.
Today (three days later) we will open the hive just to check she has been released. If not then we will carefully release her. Then we will close the hive and leave them alone for a couple of weeks and then next time we open them up HOPEFULLY we will find eggs-aplenty!!!!!
Oh please let us find eggs! these hives really need to build up their colonies now so they have a nice big number to huddle together with in winter!
The nails in the top of the cages are ones Lloyd carefully added so that we could hang the Queens cage over the top of the frames in between two frames in the hive and the other bees could climb all over the cage and get to know the Queen :)
The Queen is in the cage with several worker bees who care for her - feed her and act like her maids!
Posted by Jane at 11:30 a.m.