Hive Checks (6/22/2013)
Finally a nice patch of capped worker brood. This is the queen from the split on 4/28 and she's about 2-3 weeks late to get going. In talking with another beekeeper that raised queens about the same time I started he also saw this same slow to start for his queens.
Icon Granddaughter Hive
To my surprise I found a nice patch of capped worker brood. I guess she's not a drone layer after all! This is the queen from the split on 5/1 and she's also about 2-3 weeks late to get going. A few drones with deformed wing were found as well. Gave them a frame of capped brood from the Icon daughter hive to help build their numbers up.
They took a half gallon of syrup this week and a few pounds of old comb honey. They have drawn several new combs and finished drawing the partial combs I gave them. I found signs of newly laid eggs and I'm pretty sure this was a cast swarm with a virgin queen since it took her about 10 days to start laying eggs. Will need to give her a week or so to see how the pattern looks. Gave them more syrup.
The queen cell from last week has been capped and there was actually a second one in progress. The queen is still there and laying. A few drones with deformed wing were found.
They are looking good and are finally big enough to call them a hive again. There were even a few eggs in drone sized cells and guard bees were keeping an eye on me. They are missing the flow, but these girls were able to bring in honey last summer during the dearth when the rest of the hives weren't doing much, so I have high hopes they will end the summer on a decent note.
Hive Checks (6/23/2013)
Things are looking good and most of the frames are full of capped brood. Would like to see a few more bees covering the frames, but with the warm weather they should pull through. Gave them more syrup.
In general it looks like they lost too many bees back to the main hive for the slots to remain viable. I have better luck when I move them to a new yard, but was trying something new this time. Slots 2 & 3 may still have a queen in them running around as the cells were opened but I couldn't find her.
Would have liked to have seen more nectar stored but the frames were getting heavier so will keep my fingered crossed that they keep it up. Found the new queen and she's a darker girl with pretty gold bands.
Everything looked good and they are building up nicely. Some stores, but they are still likely too small to take advantage of the flow.
Saw multiple frames of hatched brood and lots of eggs. The queen has apparently decided she needed to get to work and is laying up a storm. The hive was noticeably calmer today with only a few pissy girls that wanted to head butt.
Some brood and eggs on the way, but the queen seems to have slowed down. I was just thinking how I didn't like the head butting these girls do when the hive builds up and a minute later found two queen cells in the works. My gut tells me it's a supersedure attempt, but not wanting to mess around I put her in a cage to take home to the queen castle and left them to finish the two cells. There really aren't enough bees in here yet to want to swarm. I may need to check back in a week to clean up any emergency cells they build from eggs.
Slot 2 - The Sand queen went in here as I couldn't find a queen.
Slot 3 - Saw the queen and she's darker than her mom, but not her new sister. Will need to give her some resources soon.
Hive Checks (6/29/2013)
Picked up a large swarm from a local beekeeper. This was a secondary swarm from the hive but it was still fairly large. Helped them do a hive check to figure out what was going on. It appears that even through they cut the remaining swarm cells down to the best 3 after the first swarm they still had young larvae and eggs and made several more emergency cells. Found at least 4 queens running around in the hive and they were piping at each other. Put one in a cage to take with the swarm as a "just in case" and moved one to the original swarm nuc they had made that appeared to be missing a queen and left two to fight it out. There may have been more and I missed them (I saw more opened cells) and I wouldn't normally have left two but the first one I found was smaller and not knowing about the others I left her. The other queens I found were all much bigger and would have been better to keep so I left the one to hopefully find and take out the smaller weaker queen.
Gave them more syrup.
Hive Checks (6/30/2013)
Icon Daughter Nuc
Checked in to see how the supersedure was going and found both queens walking side by side. The mother queen has dramatically slowed down her laying and there were many open empty cells without larvae or eggs left. The nurse bees were still pretty much ignoring the new queen. Saw a worker and drone with DWV and a few varroa mites and I'm hoping the newer queens picks up some more resistant traits from the drones she mated with. I like this hive because it is so gentle and that is something worth keeping around.
Back to the bees,