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Well, that was weird…

6-1-2014 bearding

It’s hot! Bees bearded on front of Ole and Lena.

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.

Queen cell on the right, newly emerged queen on the left, under Mark's hive tool.

Queen cell on the right, newly emerged queen on the left, under Mark’s hive tool.

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.

Fie hives & two nucs.

Fie hives & two nucs.

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About Idiots Keeping Bees

We're always looking for new adventures, and well, learning about beekeeping seemed like a good idea. We had one hive in 2011, and we've increased since then Our goal is 10ish colonies, but we haven't hit our mark quite yet. We've found talking with other beekeepers to be invaluable, so we're starting this blog to keep long-distance conversations rolling throughout the year. If we can figure out beekeeping, so can you!

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