In one of the nucs, I found a new queen, born less than a couple of weeks ago. I caged and marked her with this year's official beekeeping colour which is blue. Before I could release her, she ruined the look of her freshly applied makeup when she rubbed her thorax against the marking cage netting, adding a blue smudge to a wing and her abdomen. Anyway, her young majesty is laying well and the hive is well populated and cheerful.
The other nuc hive has not yet produced a queen but are busy grooming queen cells in a donated frame of brood. The bees in that hive are quite docile and seem to be optimistic that their queen rearing enterprise will succeed. Each week I'll add a frame of brood with eggs until I confirm that they are queen right.
|Nurse bees fussing over one of their capped queen cells on a donated frame.|
|The same hive adding royal jelly to another queen cell, not yet capped.|
A young queen's mating flight can be problematic. The past several weeks have had many rainy days. Not good since queens mate in mid-air drone congregations. Then there is the gauntlet of birds that would love to nab a flying queen or her entourage. I've spotted an Eastern Kingbird in the yard. They love to snack on honey bees. Are you feeling lucky Princess?
|Sorry Carol, but I just had to steal your great idea for a honey gathering box.|
|The girls (and a couple of flies) love their grape jelly treat.|
|My yard's Eastern Kingbird watches for insect prey. Please -- not the queen!|