Sunday, July 12, 2015

Coronation Day!

I met someone who lives two towns over from me who wants to take up beekeeping next year. John was interested in getting some first-hand experience seeing bees up close, so I invited him and his wife Laura over to participate in a hive inspection.

John with some comb
We started with the splits since those are the colonies that I'm most concerned with.

Peach and Elsa
Today is Day 10 for Peach and her virgin queen. Well, that queen is a virgin no longer. There are eggs and a queen!

Peach's queen

I really have trouble finding the dark queens, so thankfully John has some sharp eyes. He noticed both Peach's and Elsa's queens first.

Elsa's queen should have emerged Wednesday, so I really was not expecting any eggs until next Saturday, but she's laying already.

Elsa's queen

Buttercup did not have any eggs, but her queen should've emerged about Wednesday, so I'm not concerned yet. Just in case, I stole yet another bar of eggs/larvae from Bubblegum for her.

This nuc is doing beautifully. She's starting to backfill the nest, though, so I broke it up with a couple of empty bars.

Austeja, Hippolyte & Persephone
These three colonies are all doing well -- eggs, larvae, extra stores, making some drones. Hippolyte and Persephone were starting to backfill their nests as well. Hopefully, some extra space and the dwindling flow will suppress any swarming.

If I'm being truthful, I'm really starting to dislike Hippolyte and Persephone. Almost every time I open them, they sting me. I've got 7 colonies, and 98% of my stings this year have come from these two wretches. Today, they set a new record for me for the most stings in one day -- four stings, two on each arm. Even John got stung on the hand. Horrible little fiends these two. 


  1. Welcome to the bee world, John - it's a fun place to hang out! Hopefully a little sting won't deter you.

    So what do you think is going on with Hippolyte and Persephone? Maybe it's time to requeen them with some gentler genes?

    1. I have no idea what's up with those southern gals. Ruth assured me they were "good little girls," but I'm starting to think these bees are a little two-faced. ;-)

      Actually, I have a few working hypotheses:

      1: I usually start inspections about 3 or 4, and H&P are usually the last two I open up. That means it's usually closer to 4 or 5 by the time I get to them. Maybe field workers are returning at that time, and we know how mean they can be.

      2: Maybe I'm just sweatier by the time I get to H&P, and they don't like that.

      3: The bees are open-mated in GA. Maybe they have a bit of AHB in them.

      I supposed it's easy enough to test out the first two ideas -- I can just start with the grouches next time and see what happens. If they're still not nicer, I'm thinking I'll just see what happens over winter. If they die, fine. If not, I may requeen.


Thank you for your comment! I can't wait to hear what you think!