Checking for food, babies, and that elusive queen
2/22/23: Weather: Temp 65 degrees and sunny.
Fully inspected hive. Didn’t use my smoker today after starting the small fire two weeks ago.🙄 There are 4 frames of brood, up from 2 last week. The girls are bringing in pollen like crazy. Some of the water foragers are using the chicken coop roof as their water source, the same place they’ve been getting their water from for the last 3 years. Crazy!
Lots of food stores. I added a green drone frame, which allows the queen to lay only drones on the frame. This is beneficial for controlling mites (some say) and also for keeping your drone population organized in one spot. Couldn’t find queen but saw small larvae, which indicates recent queen activity.
2/28/23: Weather: Temp 65 degrees and sunny, windy.
Today I cleaned the propolis off the frames of the older hives and inspected them for usability. My plan was to replace any broken frames and frames with no comb in the thriving hive. The good frames from the empty hives contain drawn comb and some food stores, which will give this hive less work to do.
I went all the way through both deeps but couldn’t find the queen, again. She’s so elusive! There are now 6 frames of brood and evidence of a few drone cells! Drone cells mean that spring is definitely here and the hive’s ability to create and successfully mate a queen, if needed, is near. You can see from each progressing video that the number of bees is increasing substantially! Woohoo!
The book Beekeeping for Dummies, which easily describes the newspaper process is one of my favorites for beekeepers beyond the first year.