Thursday night we rushed out to the field to kick off the entrance reducers, add the first honey supers of the season, and check to see if the new queen had started laying eggs in Thor. Man, it was hot and muggy and we were greeted with lots of bees bearding on the front of the hive boxes. And, the ladies were grumpy. So yes, Robin was stung yet again. (I swear bees only sting those that don’t react well to such things.) On the upside, we found eggs in Thor, so that particular queenless mess is behind us.
Today, we went out early and crawled through each hive, looking at every frame for queen cells. Capped queen cells = swarm is quite possibly eminent. Our goal was to pull out frames with capped queen cells in drop them in nucs which are essentially small hive incubators. We filled our two nucs, so we were wrapping it up and checking the last few frames for queen cells. We found one last queen cell so Mark pulled it off. It came off pretty much intact so he set on top of one of the hives in case I wanted to take a picture. A couple minutes later I looked at it and HOLY COW the queen was chewing her way out. Panic ensued! We didn’t want her to take off, mate, and then have a swarm go on the lamb. So we made a split-second decision to snuff her out. Was it the right decision – heck, we don’t know. But, that decision was the same as setting $25 on fire. 😦
It seems like we’re on a weird roller coater where we either have too many queens, or not enough.