HOLY COW, I really don’t think there could be a more incompetent set of beekeepers in North America than us.
Robin hasn’t been to the bee yard for a couple of months due to work commitments. Mark has been carrying the load, supering and generally taking care of the place.
The nuc we started in early June with queen cells gathered from our colonies went bust. No queen appeared to be home as no eggs could be found. We knew it was time to wave the white flag and buy a queen. Then, Lily von Shtupp appeared to go queen-less last weekend. In early June we tried gathering up queen cells from other hives that were planning a swarm and switched them in with a frame of brood. It didn’t appear to be working.
So, today we drove over to Mt Vernon and picked up two new queens. You know, $56 worth of queens and came home to install. And I’ll be danged, we opened the nuc and found eggs. And then we opened Lily and I’ll be danged again – also found eggs. So then panic sets in – we bought these queens, WE HAVE TO USE THEM. Arrrgggggg.
So there we are, opening up the hives that we thought were going gangbusters, to swipe some brood and honey to start new splits and I’LL BE DANGED AGAIN, they were now queen-less. Hey, good news – we just happen to have a couple spare queens laying around.
Ultimately, we put a new queen in Ole. And then we made a new split (which shall remain nameless until it proves itself) with the other new queen. – I know, it’s like a weird Who’s On First game with the queens.
At some point in time I seriously considered just just lying down in the prairie and weeping from all the ridiculousness. But, on the upside, I didn’t get stung (for once) so no shots needed. And Mark managed to wander around the bee yard for half the day with his hood/veil entirely unzipped and he didn’t get stung but we realized the oversight when he suddenly declared there was a bee in in veil. Following us around is like watching a Far Side cartoon come to life.
MEAD UPDATE. We have our bottles ready to go for the State Fair. Check-in is next weekend. — Well, unless we just drink it all before it gets to the fairgrounds.