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Battle Wounds and New Queen Cells!

New Honey Bee Queen Cell

Lone Honey Bee Queen Cell

I spoke to quickly about the war being over. It is really crazy and impossible for me to explain, but I was once again attacked by a bee around my shed, late yesterday. Per my last post, I had previously figured that a few bees has stung my pants or shirt and left their alarm pheremone on me. I assumed that this was sending out a ‘come fight this big galook’ smell to all nearby bees, so I was being attacked both Thursday afternoon and all day Friday, even though I was 80+ yards from the splits (where most of the angry bees) and maybe 60 yards from my other hives (which were not getting riled as I looked closely at their landing boards (periodically) during the same period.) In effect, I was a walking pheromone sponge.

Well, yesterday I threw all of the work clothes in the dirty clothes hamper and washed down thoroughly before making my way out to do some chores. About mid-day, I went to paint a few more Deeps and, low and behold, here she came again! This time, I was tired of it and decided that I would let her sting me. I needed to know if it really was only ONE bee. Finally, she nailed me as I stood there with paint in hand. I stepped back and she kept coming out me (without a stinger now) and went so far as to land on my paint brush, as if to say ‘I own this place, bub.’ Eventually, she went off to die and I was finally left at peace. Not a single attack since then.

I know it sounds insane. I am not really sure I believe it. But, it appears that I had one bee from that split that simply was not going to let it go. A real anger management issue=)

One Capped and One Nearly Capped Queen Cell

One Capped and One Nearly Capped Queen Cell

Well, on to better news. With all of the hassle around the split hives (specifically the queenless one), I was not looking forward to the inspection today. But, I needed to confirm that they had started some queens. For the past day or so, I had actually started to hope that they had not started any new queens. I could put a frame of eggs from the Geronimo Hive, my strongest gentle hive. But, with the scorching heat, I had changed my mind and hoped that I would find them after all (and thus not be forced to break two daggone hives apart!)

It was on frame 4 that I found the queen cells. That’s right cellS! I found two completed cells, one almost capped and another that was just starting to be drawn out. This last one indicates that I definitely put a frame of very new eggs in with these gals, as the egg in that one is three days old at least! This is all good news. My guess is that one of these queens will hatch in about 10 to 12 days (it takes 16 (give or take) total days, from the laying of the egg to the emergence of the queen), which puts us at Jul 1 to 3. She’ll then chill out with the hive, exerting her authority (killing the other queens that have not hatched yet or even doing battle with one if it does hatch at the same time), and otherwise being useless. Finally, after 4 or 5 days (putting us at July 8), she’ll go out to find the love of her life. Ideally (although it could be later), she’ll be laying by the weekend of July 11. I’ll check them then and, if things are going smoothly, I’ll take them to Charles City to Pop!

I also placed a fresh deep chamber of foundation between the deep brood chamber (bottom) and the Illinois super (top). Finally, I filled up the feeder and let them be. This time, I used a lot of smoke and there was not nearly the same amount of aggravation. But, I did notice a ton of fighting on the landing board. Apparently, I let the cat out of the bag by exposing the hive and letting a bunch of other bees come in and try to steal from them. But, I have very little worries about them. They covered every frame in the bottom deep and several frames in the Illinois super. They are strong and will defend themselves (plus, they are really mean…)

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