Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The queen is dead; long live the queen

Went into the big hive yesterday, hoping to see that the blonde swarm had mixed in nicely. Alas, this was not so. No big blonde queen, no light workers, but, we did see someone else.


If you look closely, you can see bits of paint around her thorax, from last year. The old queen was there all along. I don't feel terribly, as I'm not the only experienced beekeeper who missed her and any evidence of her over many hive inspections. So.

The nice swarm is dead, and I'm sad about that. There are, however, two swarms boiling around and I think I can manage to combine everything down to only three hives in my yard. That's all I can handle.

I don't even want to detail the experiment of yesterday which seems like a dismal failure. Maybe after it's all resolved I'll get it written up.

On the upside, I harvested about 30 pounds of light spring flow honey yesterday.

13 comments:

villager said...

Well, I had a hive many years ago and I never could spot the queen! I loved the honey, but in the end it was a lot of work. As a result, now I have no problem paying for good local honey.

It is nice reading about your beekeeping adventures!

Di said...

I have never been so amazed as when we saw photos of bees and how they rebuilt their combs inside a hollow log after our tree fell, the combs collapsed and we found them inside. Amazing creatures. A little over a week ago, the gentleman who came to take the log sent photos... remarkable what they can do. Long live bees!

Ribbit said...

Do you know that you've actually got a six year old RATIONING his "Neener's Sweet Honey?"

We've got a quarter of the jar you sent left and he actually hems and haws over if he can put some on both halves of his biscuit, it's that precious to him.

You've got a fan!

Stefaneener said...

Villager, welcome. Today was certainly a lot of work. I'm exhausted, and I'm not sure my work is going to. . . work! You're what we call an educated customer! I went to your blog -- clove and cinnamon trees! Wonderful.

Di, they are tremendously interesting. That didn't stop me swearing at them most of today, though. So I bottled carefully this afternoon to remind me of one reason I do this.

Ribbit, I need to get your address again. That boy needn't ration -- let's send him some more.

Stefaneener said...

Villager, welcome. Today was certainly a lot of work. I'm exhausted, and I'm not sure my work is going to. . . work! You're what we call an educated customer! I went to your blog -- clove and cinnamon trees! Wonderful.

Di, they are tremendously interesting. That didn't stop me swearing at them most of today, though. So I bottled carefully this afternoon to remind me of one reason I do this.

Ribbit, I need to get your address again. That boy needn't ration -- let's send him some more.

Ribbit said...

I just told him and he smiled sheepishly, burried his head in my shoulder and whispered, "Thank you."

We'll wait until you get your major haul, and then I'll send you money for it and shipping via pay pal or something. I insist.

kitsapFG said...

I could actually see her in this photo! There is absolutely NO WAY that I would spot that in a milling/humming alive hive. Just would not happen.

I hope you get the bee colonies combined and stabilized and on their way to a productive and healthy community.

Kate and Crew said...

GAH! I wanna see her! Where is she in the photo? I can't find a bee with a bit of paint on her...

I just spent $6 for a honey bear full of local Florida orange blossom honey from a local apiary. Deeeelish!

Stefaneener said...

Kate, she's in the lower left hand side of the picture, leaning left to right, top to bottom. Her abdomen is resting on open cells.

Jan said...

I love reading your bee posts, but I think we were right not to get any ourselves. I don't think we have the time!

GardenerX said...

at least you still have a queen in there. Thats a great honey harvest. Must taste better being produced by your own bee's.. awesome

Ottawa Gardener said...

Long live the queen. I missed the blonde swarm story but glad that there's a monarch in residence.

Kalena Michele said...

You guys are good keeping bees. A good friend of mine keeps bees in her garden. I have a lot of hair and they tend to get caught in it when I come to visit. Yeah....bees not for me but the posts and photos are great! lol