Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The buzz

I mentioned that one of my hives had me worried and was very weak. After talking to the folks at K&K again, I went with their advice to place a new queen in the colony and take a frame of brood from the healthy hive to give them a boost. So here I am getting into the weak hive.

This frame should be covered with bees and wax and you can see there's not much of anything. The brood that was present looked dried up and there were NO eggs or young larvae present at all.

I have a theory as to what may have happened, but it's all a guess at this point. I think the original queen may have been weak to begin with and didn't lay enough brood. Something happened to her, or they swarmed (which makes no sense, but is still a possibility) and the hive decided to make a new queen. I found two empty queen cells, so my thought is that two queens hatched and rather than one of them dominating, they killed each other and the hive didn't have enough brood to make a new one at that point.

Their numbers were declining rapidly, but there is no sign of disease.

Placing the new queen in the hive.

I checked on her yesterday and they almost had her out of the queen cage. I'll wait a few more days before checking again. I'm worried about this hive, but there isn't much I can do at this point but wait....
and wait.

Lotsa things in life are like that aren't they? :) The bees are helping me be more Zen. Ah, that would make a good post..."Zen and the art of beekeeping".


CG said...

when I saw the post about a swarm under your trampoline, I figured one of your hives would be in trouble. Bees don't come from very far away. Best of luck with the re-queening.

Ren said...

We immediately assumed the same, but both hives looked like they had the same number of bees after we removed the swarm. Maybe my inexperienced eyes just couldn't tell the difference. sigh.

I learned about how to integrate a swarm into a hive and wished I'd known at that time. Not knowing if they were mine or not could have made that proposition risky too though (should they be diseased or something).

Anyhoo, the queen is free and hopefully all is well. We'll see.

CG said...

I don't know that I would have tried re-integration. Once they decide they really want to leave . . . . But you may want to always keep a spare hive body around to hive any swarms that do happen. Then you'd have one strong hive and two weak ones! LOL!

m~ said...

Wow, that's so cool with the bees. I just bought so local honey. Yum, noting like it. Thanks for stopping by my ole blog. I will definitely be back.

Ren said...

Aw dang! My attempt has utterly and thoroughly failed. The entire hive is gone and the queen dead. Talk about deflated.
It's been a rough week that way. Off to the beekeeping assoc. picnic tomorrow where maybe I'll get some help figuring this out. I'm really sad....but I also recognize this as part of the risk you take with anything worth doing.