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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Extra Virgin Queen Bee

Thursday, I stole two bars of eggs/larvae from Bubblegum and gave it to Peach. I also gave Peach the queen I'd purchased from Sam. Sunday, I checked, and there was no queen in the cage and no eggs. I couldn't spot the queen in the hive either.

I wasn't quite sure how long it would take the queen to lay eggs -- or if they'd accepted her -- or if she was even in there. So I gave them some syrup and a bar of eggs/young larvae and closed up.

Tuesday, I put some more syrup in the hive and checked again. Still no sign of a queen, or eggs, or even queen cells. Urgh. I added a small bar bar of eggs again and some more syrup.

Feeling perplexed, I texted Sam with the situation today. His response: 

"No, they didn't accept her. If they haven't started queen cells then there is a virgin queen present."


What??? How did this happen? I took the brood from Bubblegum, which is queen right. She has been since at least June 25 (two weeks ago). Could there have been a virgin queen that emerged that wasn't killed off? I know this sometimes happens in a large hive, but this was a small nuc. Urgh. I already have two queenless colonies. Now a third? Ok, technically, she has a queen, but I'm going to be uneasy until I see eggs. My stomach is flip-flopping.

On the other hand, I had fretted about introducing the queen too soon. Now, I can see that even if I'd waited the minimum 24 hours, it wouldn't have mattered anyway. They still would have killed her because they already had a queen.

Of course my next questions were, "When do I start worrying, and what do I do next?" Sam advised me, "Don't ever worry. Check again in another 5 days or so." Oh boy, here we go again. I'm tracking so many queen bee "birth dates" on my calendar that my agenda looks like a personal organizer for an obstetrician. Fun. Fun. Fun. 

4 comments:

  1. Sounds like you are doing all the right things. Bee keeping seems to be a mixture of knowledge and faith in equal measure. This is one of the faith bits.

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    1. That was deep, Dewey. Feeling a bit stunned by the truth of that actually. Will be pondering on that one for awhile, I think.

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  2. Replies
    1. LOL! Beekeeper, philosopher, pizza maker... You are a man of many talents, Dewey!

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