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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a!
Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Is there a Queen and Is she Laying?

The swarm I collected a couple of weeks ago looked like a secondary swarm and probably had a virgin queen. So the big questions are is there a queen and is she laying?

We've had terrible weather in Atlanta since I got this swarm and you never know how well it will do. The virgin queen had to brave wind, storm, hail, etc. to make the mating flight and get back in one piece. I had no idea if this had happened.

I was thrilled to open the hive today to find capped brood, lots of eggs and tiny larvae on two of the five frames in the bottom medium nuc box! If you can click on the pictures below, there are some good pictures of egg and tiny brood larvae. I was so thrilled!

In such a small hive, I should have been able to see the queen. I looked hard for her on the two frames of brood and larvae but didn't try too hard on the other frames. I was so relieved to see evidence of her.



My goal for this hive is for it to build up enough numbers and supplies to make it through the 2009 winter. We've gotten off to a good start. They are not in the upper box yet. The comb pictured below was all that had been made and the bees hadn't moved into this upper box.



Most of the time, the queen will only lay the amount of eggs that her workers can manage, so I suspect she is going slowly. She'll lay more and more as there are more workers to be nurse bees, and it will be a while before she gets into the second box. I'll bet that I move this hive into a full-sized box at the beginning of June - we'll see.

We have a Blue Heron inspection on Sunday that Julia is leading but we will inspect my hives in the process. We'll get to see if the "made" queen is laying and if the nuc hive is doing well. Decisions will be made about whether the hives need to be combined or if they can stay as two hives.

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3 comments:

  1. I'm finding it so interesting reading your blogs and learning about bees. Great photos by the way. Keep em' coming.


    Dawn

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  2. It is good that your queen has mated. It is still early in the year and I anticipate that the hive will have no trouble building up enough for the winter. Good luck.

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  3. You're blog has been so helpful to me and my new hive I started this spring. Keep it up!

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