Bee News Updates: Bad, Good and Good!

Life’s that thing we all do that requires taking some bad with some good and hopefully making the best of things along the way. We’ve had bad and good news lately regarding the bees, but fortunately the good is winning out.

When we were out adding supers to a couple of the busier hives in the country apiary the other day we got the bad news: An elderly neighbor who had problems with the way we were keeping our bees –he thought we should have them in the shade!—was still pestering our host. In the interest of maintaining good relations, we agreed to move them to a new location. Fortunately, and I mean really fortunately, another neighbor of our previous host was not only willing to host them, she has a nearly ideal spot, doesn’t mind how many we have, and says we can keep there for the foreseeable future! On top of that, I’ve renewed an acquaintance from twenty-plus years go. With a new site available, we screened off the entrances, tied and taped the hive components together and loaded them on and in The Other Mark’s van.

A short drive later we had them placed and leveled. The whole process went quickly and smoothly and we never suited up or used smoke. We put brush and boards in front of the entrances so they’d be confused when they emerged and have to reorient to their surroundings. This should keep them from trying to fly back to their previous location when they come back in from foraging. Fingers crossed.

 

The other news concerns the queen cells we installed when we did the splits as related in my previous post. The split we made from Margaret, the booming package hive, had its queen emerge normally, but the one we made from Mary and placed in our back yard never emerged at all. I was able to obtain another VSH queen cell and install it a week after the first one. Today I opened the hive to check and found an encouraging sight.

See how the end of the cell is opened in a nice, neat circle? That indicates that the queen, the “real” Ruby for record-keeping purposes, emerged normally and should be somewhere in the hive. I didn’t go looking for her. I’ll leave the hive alone for a couple of weeks to give her time to mature and mate and then do a full inspection to see if she’s started laying eggs. Wish her luck!

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