Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Ruckus in Royal Ruckus!

 Whoa!!! I have never seen brood packed frames like the ones in Royal Ruckus. That Queen, 18 days in has packed pristine brood, cell after cell, covering four frames. I am telling you if there were a brood frame category at the State Fair she would win. Hands down. It was breathtaking to see, seriously. Both Paula and I were in awe. We noticed that the girls have build comb at the bottom of each frame and the queen was laying in there too. Needless to say she needed a second brood box which we added today. Hopefully she will move up and pack that box as well and then the girls can get onto the business of making some honey!

We added a second box to Patrick's Pollinator a week or more ago but the Queen hasn't moved up yet. We found her, still in the bottom box with plenty of room. There must have been a recent hatch in that hive because my recollection was that she was getting a little full last week.

We also added a second box to Katrina's Drone Den which is in about the same shape as Patrick's Pollinator,  mediocre brood patterns with moderate populations that reflect recent hatch outs. Both could stand a little beefing up.

We spent our time in The Turquoise Bee trying to locate our queen and size up what is going on in that hive. We couldn't locate the Queen which was disappointing but she has laid a mediocre amount of brood and we could see some eggs and larva. We still see a fair amount of queen cups and I am not sure they are old or new. I wish our record keeping was better to help us track them. I am still optimistic about this hive but she seems sluggish. Another very concerning finding was a wingless bee. Now we only found one which isn't a big deal but in large numbers is a red flag! Initially I went to pesticides but it turns out that Varroa destructor, a mite that can infest bees can cause something called Deformed wing virus. We have been put on notice and need to watch this group closely! We also captured a few new bees emerging from their cells which is always fun to see.

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