Hive Inspections – August 25

by Julie Tennis on August 26, 2012

Today I inspected hives five and six. Five is strong and had about five frames of capped honey in their super, which I pulled for Sunday’s workshop at Farmstock. I didn’t see the queen but there was plenty of capped brood and a couple frames of eggs in the bottom box. I decided not to investigate the top box. It was clearly full of honey, and probably had brood in it as well. It was very heavy. (I’m starting to wish I had Warre hives!)

Hive six is one of three hives that appears to be failing. I didn’t see a queen on the 13th but I did see some eggs and a young larvae in royal jelly. And now they are building a queen cell (see the above photo).

I’ve done a lot to this hive since I first discovered it was in trouble at the end of July (it was being robbed). I’m still learning how to keep good records (thanks to the training I received from West Sound Beekeepers Association!) and I can’t tell from my notes if anything I’ve done over the last month has helped. I’m not even sure at this point if the queen cell is viable. I gave them queen cells at the end of July but then there appeared to be laying workers at the start of August (multiple eggs per cell, eggs on cell walls). If the few eggs I saw in the middle of August were from workers, is it possible they are still trying to make a queen out of one of them? And what will that look like? A super-drone?

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