A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

They Say a Queen Calms Them…

…and they’d be right! That nasty little group of bees that I picked up at Westover Plantation, in Charles City, Va, this year has always been a bit grumpy. I could put my face within 6 inches of the landing board of the parent hive (original Westover hive) without a problem. But, the minute that I opened them up to look at them, I would get two or three bees banging against my veil. Of course, I was not using smoke but I did not use smoke with my other hives either and never had the same amount of aggression that I would have with Westover. As a side note, I was stung a grand total of 1 time, but they still acted more grumpy, even if they didn’t always act on it.

Then, I split the hives in mid-June and this made it worse, especially with the William Byrd Hive (the Queenless split off of the Westover hive.) In fact, they were a bit more aggressive then the parent. I am now certain that this was due to the queenless situation. I have often read that this will make a hive become a bit aggressive and this proved true for me.

The good news is that they have become much more gentle now. At my last inspection, I had one trying to bump against my veil, but I consider that fairly gentle when you consider that I was breaking the entire hive apart looking for the queen and was not using smoke. The best news came today when I actually found the queen and did not receive a single aggressive move. They remained fairly calm, which is a huge development, considering it is mid-July when every hive that I own is a bit on edge due to the dearth and drought. I considered marking the queen and still will probably do so, but I want to practice on a few drones before I do that. I am thinking that I will get some practice next weekend on the Albo hive out at the Mountcastle out-yard, as they always have a ton of drones. Hopefully, I’ll get this queen marked in August.

So, today was a pretty positive day for me with the bees. It’s nice to have a positive outcome after so many battles with robbing of my smaller hives. It’s also a big deal as this is the first queen that I have forced my bees to raise on their own. In fact, it represents my first genetic move. I am hopeful that this new queen’s eggs have the strong work ethic of the Westover hive with the gentle nature of some of my other hives. She was a big gal. Hopefully, during the August inspection, we’ll find a really good brood pattern. That’s the next step. I will not really know the results of this new queen until next Spring, outside of the brood pattern.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

  

  

  

*