Thursday, April 25, 2013

Adventures in beekeeping.

 I attempted to join my lonely queen bee and her few attendants with my strong healthy queenless hive using the newspaper method. The bees totally ignored the queen and her supply of helper bees dwindled even more. 
Yesterday things were pretty critical for her so I popped her into a queen cage with four of her friends and placed her in the queenless hive. I then went through the other frames to see which ones to keep in the hive and which ones to take out. Then I noticed it. Uh oh. I small very fresh looking empty queen cell. Oh boy. That means I just threw my good expensive queen in a hive with thousands of bees that are going to try and kill her. 
She was still in her cage and therefore ok so I went through some more frames and saw three frames full of day or two old eggs. Holy cow! What an impressive layer! Then I noticed that a few cells had more than one egg. Not good. That could mean a laying worker. Bad news. A laying worker is a huge problem as she only lays drones and she will totally take over a hive and ultimatly kill it becuase as bees die, they are not being replaced. They are very hard to get rid of because they look JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER BEE in that congested hive. There could also be several laying queens.
I retrieved my queen and rearranged my hive to work as a two queen hive with excluders to keep the queens apart (if there really are two queens). I am hoping I have two queens because with the set up I have with them now, the workers will care for both queens and two layers in a hive will build up numbers very quickly! Here's hoping! 

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