Checking In with Hives 1 – 4

by Julie Tennis on August 23, 2012

In today’s hive inspection I checked colonies 1 through 4.  My back is really aching today after a long bike ride yesterday, so I wasn’t able to get through all ten in the home apiary.  I haven’t been in these four since early this month, so it was nice to catch up.

  • Hive 1 had a small amount of eggs, I didn’t see the queen.
  • Hive 2 had capped brood, I didn’t see any eggs but I did see the queen!  She’s the first queen I’ve seen in months, and she was beautiful!
  • Hive 3 had no brood, no eggs, and I didn’t see the queen.
  • Hive 4 had eggs and larvae, I didn’t see the queen.

All three hives that I’ve inspected over the last month (3, 6, and 8 ) who don’t have eggs or brood were very strong at the beginning of the seasion.  They were also very active in gathering nectar, two of them still have good stores in the hive.  I first began to notice something was wrong when I found hive 6 being robbed last month.

My theory is these three hives, being so strong in the spring, swarmed too early.  The hatchling queens were not mated, due to poor weather or lack of drones, and so the strength of the hives steadily declined through the summer.

I placed the queen cells from the queen rearing class I’d attended into hive 6 and later gave them a frame with eggs and young larvae from another hive.  There were new eggs last time I checked, but I’m not sure if they are from a queen or from laying workers (I’d done a shake out early on due to laying workers).  I fear it’s too late in the season to raise new queens because the drones may be all gone by the time the new queens would hatch.  We shall see…

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