Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Did the Queen abdicate? or was she overthrown?

Spring has been beautiful here recently.  The apple trees and peach tree bloomed nicely, due to J's expert winter pruning. The lawn is covered with ajuga, violets, and proud to say dandelions.  All of these are excellent food for the bees.  But NOT ONE bee on any of it.   They fly out and extremely up into the trees to bring back nectar and pollen.  I see a few on the beautiful lilacs, that's it.

Two of my three apple trees with absolutely no bee activity.  Why can't I see any chickens?  There should be 18 birds out there somewhere.  
Thanks to Danielle for the galvanized horse water tank now planted with some herbs and lettuces out behind the carriage house/ wood shed/boathouse.  It would be a garage if it didn't have a 150 year old floor.  It used to be used for milking cows.
I LOVE galvanized anything!! So--another tank with sunflowers and annuals. The dirt track is
from the border collie racing around that path as she leaves the house at a million miles an hour.
There is some closed brood still, from the stowaway queen.  But we are falling behind because of their queen exchanges.

AAhhh, cute--look at the baby bee just emerging from under the
wing of this nurse bee.  OK, it's fuzzy, but I had to blow up the picture to see it.
The outside the hive looks busy, but inside they are just wandering around with nothing to do really until this new queen gets laying.  We are expecting a few days of thunder storms, so I don't know if she is fully mated, or she will get right to her business. They won't be out flying in the rain.

I think that is a mite, just left center, if so, it is the first I've ever
seen on my bees.  Beekeepers? Can you identify that for me and leave a comment, please?

This is a swarm cell which the bees build on the bottom of their frames. It is  opened on one side exposing a queen larva.  I think the workers were doing her in.  I found another on the floor board that had bees all over it.  It is long like a peanut so that a much longer queen can form.  My guess?  The virgin queen had emerged already (from the supercedure cell, farther up on the comb.)   I just can't see her.
However, I saw what I considered a queen mating flight happening--i.e. lots of bees out and then back in.  Almost like a swarm, except that everyone comes home again.

I cannot see eggs or larva in any cells.  I will give this new queen a few days and then open up to see if I can find some eggs.

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