Thursday, June 25, 2015

Post-split Follow up

The forecast predicts rain this weekend. Today, though, is fabulously sunny -- perfect weather to top feeders and do a three-day follow up on my split. 

Three days ago, I split Peach but wasn't sure if I'd gotten the queen or not. Well, Peach is once again full of bees, comb, and eggs. On the other hand, Elsa is busy making emergency queen cells. Guess I know the answer.

Peach & Elsa

One of the emergency cells in Elsa actually had a fairly well developed larvae. They must have started with a larva rather than a stick egg because there is no way a stick egg would have hatched and grown that much in three days.

Emergency queen cell


Bubblegum is fast filling up with honey. Even better, she's finally queen right. Although I didn't see Her Royal Highness, there were plenty of eggs, so I know she's in there. She's running out of space, though, so I pulled the feeder to make room.


She's a tricky one. Although I heard the queen piping 11 days ago, I don't think she made it back from her mating flight. There still aren't any eggs, and I found a capped queen cell all the way on the last bar in the honey area, which was kind of weird. I wonder if maybe it was a cell that the lost queen missed.

Additionally, they're making more emergency queens with the bar of eggs/larvae that I gave them three days ago. Of course, now I have no idea which line the emerging queen will be from. Three days ago, I wasn't able to give them eggs from Peach, but now I can. I can't believe I'm writing this, but I'm going to remove the emergency queens that were made with the package colony's eggs and put them in a new nuc with eggs from Peach and some capped brood from the other colonies.

Emergency queen cells

Hippolyte & Persephone

As soon as I opened Hippolyte to check her syrup level, I got stung on the arm. Then there was some obsessive head bumping and another sting. I decided she wasn't worth the aggravation and closed her up. Persephone was kind of nasty, too, so I didn't bother doing anything with her either other than change her syrup. They don't need inspection anyway since I just peeked in three days ago.


  1. Now you're having fun. Pulling queen cells to essentially create mating nucs and starting up a new colony from there. It worked surprisingly well for me. All my colonies eventually had naturally mated queens. As long as the genetic pool doesn't get too shallow, it's a great time. The bees can get a little nasty once they start mating with siblings.

    1. Sadly, I think our genetic pool in the US is already too shallow -- I think I heard that something like 80% of the bees in this country come from the same handful of package suppliers. I could be wrong about the number, but it was staggering. So while I want locally mated queens, I sometimes wonder how much diversity is actually introduce that way. Ah, well, fingers crossed. Even introducing a tiny bit of diversity is 100% better than introducing 0%.


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