Today's inspection showed that the new package colonies (Persephone and Hippolyte) are both fine. Bee bodies are at an all time low, but that's to be expected. They should start increasing rapidly after this week.
|Weird little bug I found in Persephone. Kind of looked like an earwig, but not quite. |
About 7 days ago, Austeja had eggs in queen cups on a few bars, which I pulled to make a split for Peach. This is the first sunny day we've had since then, and I thought Peach might want some syrup. Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit. When I opened her up to feed her, there wasn't a single queen cell in there! I did find lots and lots of eggs, though. Oops. The whole point of making that split was to harvest the queen cells for the package colonies. I must have accidentally moved the queen over. Oh well, the brood break will be good for Austeja, and now I have a new colony.
Meanwhile, an inspection of Austeja revealed zero eggs but loads of swarm cells. I counted about 2 dozen. Since the plan has been to requeen my package colonies all along, I briefly considered using some of the swarm cells to do just that this afternoon. However, in the last week, I've had a change of heart regarding Hippolyte and Persephone's queens. Pinching Her Royal Highnesses seemed wasteful and cruel, so I'd decided to move them into nucs as backup insurance. Unfortunately, I'm out of spare nucs and hives at the moment and haven't time to build anything before the queens emerge next week. So I'm back to square one. Requeening will have to wait until the end of June.
|Red pushpins mark bars with more than 3 queen cells. Each of these averaged 5-6 cells. |
This photo doesn't even include the cells I moved over to Bubblegum.
|Bubblegum's newly acquired royal nursery|
|Grass stuffed into Bubblegum's entrance until everyone is comfy in their new home.|
|Unfortunately, Bubblegum is slightly shallower than Austeja, and I had to slice a row of cells off one of the combs.|
A few grubs fell out, and the bees were obsessed with them. Not exactly sure what she's doing with this one.
|Too bad the peonies don't last very long. Collecting lots of bright yellow pollen.|
|Catmint is a huge attraction for various pollinators.|
|We already had a ton of clover in our yard, but I recently spread another 2 lbs of|
seed out there in the bare patches. My DH will not be thrilled to hear that, but who's telling?
|The May night salvia positively hums.|