Friday, July 3, 2009

We have Queen Honeybees

A couple of days after we got these swarms of honeybees we noticed they didn't have a queen. Two of our stronger hives had lost their queens recently as well, to what we still don't know. Fortunately we had strong hives to pull frames of eggs from so I put a frame of eggs into each queen less hive, which at the time was just two hives. The hive that I got these queen cells from had already pulled about ten cells out and had them full of royal jelly waiting on the eggs (well not exactly full but more like a bed) I tried to take a picture of this because it's really difficult to explain if you have no idea what I'm talking about;-( but I couldn't get the lens in close enough. Anyway, this first pic is where I cut out two queen cells and put as best as I could onto a frame of eggs that I had given to the new swarm that we last rescued. The heat made it fall of so I later took a straight pen to hold it in.
Yesterday I went into the hive and found that the bottoms of both of the cells had been chewed out just as they're supposed to be. I turned the frame bottom side up so you can see how they're open. I immediately started looking for the queen. This is an extremely small swarm so it was very easy to spot her. We only have about five frames in with them as of now because of their size. They all can fit on one full frame. To my surprise I found BOTH queens! They were crawling on the bottom floor but in different areas. Highly unusual according to the books that we've read, but then again we haven't had very much in the "text book" area with any of the hives that we have. I couldn't believe my eyes! My husband came over and confirmed that indeed it was two queens, and I wasn't seeing things, but the smaller of the two was at the entrance, I ran inside to get something to catch one in but when I got back she had already left. From what we've read the first queen to chew her way out will chew into the other queen cells and kill them. I got pictures of them on the bottom but the one of the queen that left is blurry (naturally) I was fighting with my head suit when I snapped the picture, not to mention that I can't see through the lens window. I just knew I had the perfect picture. The queen isn't on the frame with the open cells but she's on the other frames here. Can you spot her? She's got a bigger dot on the top of her head , her body is longer and more of a solid color. You can probably spot her better in the pic with just a few on the frame. She is on the one with more bees but they don't really like the hot sun so she scurried on over to the other side of the frame that's when I snapped the pic with about a dozen worker bees with her.
This was such a good time to start off with this blog.
Just at dusk this evening I combined both of the small swarms that we rescued a couple of weeks ago. This will make them stronger and will help them to keep their hive and frames at the appropriate temperature. The heat is really hard on them this time of year. We just don't realize the things they battle. Not to mention dealing with us to get the honey they make. But, it's sooo good;-)


1 comment:

  1. Your queen is beautiful! Those little bees are lucky to have such a good bee mommy.