Wednesday, May 25, 2011

kitties in the sun...

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Old Queen, and a New Queen cell...

I split my main 2nd year beehive four days ago. I took out the queen and put her in a new hive along with several frames of brood, bees, and honey. I left the main hive where it was to let them raise their own new queen from eggs.

Today, four days later, I checked in to see how both halves were doing...

In the new hive with the old queen, I located her, looking healthy and regal on a frame of capped worker brood. In the second photo, note how the other bees surround her attentively, like Ladies in Waiting!

There was plenty of healthy looking capped brood on the frames in the old queen's new hive...

Here is a short video I took of the queen while i had my camera in hand.  Once in a while I point to the queen with my gloved finger so as not to lose sight of her amongst all the other bees:


Next... I closed up that hive and then looked for newly made queen cells in the now queenless original hive. See the one large queen cell at the top of the hive frame here:

Here you can see the queen cell. You can just see the butt end of a worker bee inside it, attending to the young queen larvae. Nearby you can see a few cells with regular worker larvae in them- the white larvae curled up in the bottoms of the brood cells.

If you look carefully inside the queen cell, you can see a large soft white larvae curled up in a "C" shape inside the queen cell, bathed in royal jelly. In a few more days the cell will be closed up and the new queen will finish her pupae stage for another few days and then emerge as a new virgin queen, ready to take her mating flight.

Friday, May 6, 2011

New hives for Spring

Today my bee buddy Peter and I got our two new Spring honeybee colonies in the mail. We installed the bees in two new hives at Peter's house, side by side.  Mine is the green hive, Peter's is the brown hive.
Everything seemed to go well, both queens look healthy, and we'll be checking in on the hives several times over the next few days as they get established.
I still have my other hive at my house, which I hope to split into two hives in another week or two when drones are flying and the colony looks strong.
Peter and I had fun installing the new bees, and we didn't even get stung!