Long live the Queen!

July 23, 2005

Perhaps a bit overdue since my last visit (3 weeks), I went in today to see whether my switcher swapperoo trick of adding frames of brood from Hive 1 to Hive 2 to help them create a new queen worked. And, lo and behold, it did! This is one of the two frames I added from Hive 1, and you can see right smack dab in the middle there is an empty queen cell, hanging down long. Suh-weet! I didn’t see any fresh brood laid by the queen in there, but I figure it’s been only about two weeks, so she had to mature, hatch, get herself right fucked, and then she can come back and start laying eggs. Well, sweet thing, good luck to you and have fun!

Not much progress in the honey supers since I added one to Hive 1 and rearranged the frames in Hive 2. They’ve just started to draw the comb on the new frames I added, so I don’t expect a lot more honey to build up. ‘Tis a shame. I was a bit worried that Hive 1 hadn’t made as much progress prepping their new frames, so I took the top super and swapped it with the second from top. That should cause more bees to hang out in there and start working the comb out into cells they can store honey in.

I also took advantage of the fact that I was all suited up to flip the bottom board on Hive 1. It has two sides, one is a bit shorter than the other. Funny thing, though, while I was in there, I found some mouse or rat poop in the back of the hive (see picture below). Man, that’s one bold rat! I checked the frames around it and they didn’t seem to be touched, so I figure the rat came in looking for a snack, woke the girls and got…well, please excuse the pun, scared shitless. Funny, the turds were encased in propolis, a waxy substance they use to seal off holes and the like. I’ve read that occasionally a field mouse with wander into a hive, die from the girls’ ministrations and the girls will mummify the corpse in propolis. Spooky.

Finaly bonus picture. This is a frame of honey I pulled to check how things were doing. See how the honey changes color as the season progresses? Cool.

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