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New Queen Cells Started

Today, in my continuing effort to spread out my hive inspections, I decided to focus on two items. The first focused on the Geronimo Hive, as I wanted to check on the progress of the honey super. I do not want them to swarm because they filled that thing up too quickly. A couple of frames were capped, but most simply held drawn or partially drawn comb with nectar and/or honey. They could probably use another honey (Illinois) super, but I do not have the frames available for them yet. I will build some tonight and get it on them tomorrow.

The second, and more important, task was to check on the Southside Hive. Although I was hopeful that I retrieved the queen from that hive, I was doubtful. So, I wanted to see if they had started a queen with the eggs that I dropped in there last Monday (4 days ago.) I also wanted to see what they were doing with the rubber banded comb that I had jimmied into frames for them. I would like to get rid of this comb for two reasons. One, it is dark and old. This just means that it has the greatest chance of having pesticides and other poisons that have slowly built up over the years. Comb like this can lead to American Foul Brood, or so I am told, as it weakens the bees resistances to ‘issues’. I would like to remove it once the bees have gotten a good footing.

The second reason for removing this comb is that there is a chance that some of it has a recent insecticide (from the spraying by the landscaping folks that felled the tree that they were in) right on it. The last thing you want is something that fresh in your hive.

Well, as to the queen cell or eggs (eggs would have been a boon, as it would have meant that I had caught the queen), I found one capped queen cell and one that they were still feeding (I could see the larvae in the pool of royal jelly.) I am sorry that I did not get the original queen, but it is still good news. I picked up a ton of bees in this hive and they had already stored 6 frames of nectar (not full, but lots of cells on each frame that were 75% full of nectar). Basically, they had not drawn out any of the foundation and were simply storing in the existing comb. So, I could not remove any yet, but it will be at the top  of the list once they get a queen laying. I will need to do the Bee Math to figure out when to check for the queen and then for the eggs. I have about a month or so before the plan hopefully comes together.

I should also note that the Southside Hive was eating the syrup at an average rate. I probably saw 10 or so bees drinking from it. I put a wooden dowel in the top feeder this time, so none could drown (and this played through true to form – none in the drink!) I will continue to monitor this hive, although I do not plan to remove the frame with the queen cells on it again until I think the old lady has hatched (probably next weekend – certainly by June 24.)

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