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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

You win some, you lose some...

Roughly two and a half weeks ago, I tried splitting Katya with just a divider board in the hive, but I failed miserably. When I checked a week later on May 18, the bees had failed to make queen cells. It turns out the transfer frames had some small gaps at the top & the ventilation spaces at the ends of either side of the hive meant bees were just going back and forth.

On May 18, Katya was pretty full to bursting. Knowing she was going to swarm, I ordered two more hives. I was hoping they'd arrive within a week, but alas, they did not. On the next check (May 25), Katya was full of capped swarm cells. They probably swarmed on Sunday when we were at the movies. Those sneaky bees must have started making queens pretty much right after I'd closed the hive because I hadn't even noticed any queen cups on the 18th. Yikes!

queen cell

Theodora was looking like she was going to start making swarm prep, too, but without those new Layens hives, I decided to make a "shook swarm" into a TBH nuc rather than lose another swarm. Of course, now I'm on edge because I haven't got any queens in either of the Layens hives. Fingers crossed.

So I lost some bees, but I also caught a small swarm last week.  My daughter came along, and she did a great job getting those bees into a nuc. The bees were in a shrub in a condo complex, which meant lots of people walking by to stop and watch. My social butterfly of a girl was in her element teaching everyone about bees and passing out drones for them to hold. Yay! She's my queen bee-in-training!

small swarm

my bee charmer catching a swarm

Meanwhile, the spring flow is fully underway. Locust trees and wild raspberries are blooming. Clover is everywhere. While out walking last week, I also found a small mulberry tree on my property, and can't wait for it to grow!

wild raspberries

rolling in clover


1 comment:

  1. Sneaky bees! I hope the movie was worth it! Sounds like your bee yard is expanding hook or by crook. Hope you get some new mated queens out of this. I'm having bad luck with queens returning this year so far. Your daughter takes right after you, getting right in there - love that she was passing out drones! She can start looking for 4-leaf clovers in that patch!

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