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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 16th year of beekeeping in April 2021. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

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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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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Questionable Queen Situation in Rabun County

I last checked the Rabun hives two weeks ago. At that time there was an egg in every cell in the first hive, the 8 frame one. Today I saw no eggs at all, no brood, nothing. There was capped brood (probably from the brood I saw two weeks ago), but no new eggs. There wasn't a queenless roar and the bees were peaceful.

They were storing gorgeous honey: darker than the honey I'm seeing in Atlanta, but not raising bees.

So I took out a frame, covered the open hive with a drape and opened hive #2 in the hopes of getting a frame of brood and eggs to bring to Hive One. It never hurts a hive to add a frame of brood and eggs. Here are the possibilities:

1. Maybe I killed the queen in the last inspection (horrors!)
2. Maybe they didn't like the queen, raised a new one and got rid of the old one, but there hasn't been enough time for her to get mated and start laying yet.
3. Maybe for some bee reason that I can't fathom, the queen is taking a break from laying but is in the hive.

No matter which of those is true, or even if the scenario is completely different, adding a frame of brood and eggs does no harm. If there is a queen, the bees will use the frame to keep their population going. If there isn't a queen, the bees will use one of the eggs to make a new queen. If there isn't a queen and one is in process, the pheromone from the new brood added today will help stave off any laying workers.

So I went to Hive Two (they need names, don't they?) and stole a frame of brood and eggs and put it in Hive One and left with crossed fingers.

The sourwood flow should start soon, so even though neither hive needs it, I will leave an extra box on each hive on Monday when I go home to Atlanta.

Maybe since the hives are in Rabun County, I'll call them Warwoman and Tallulah for wild areas in the county.  So the 8 frame is Warwoman and the 10 frame is Tallulah.  That will help me write more distinctly about each of them!

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1 comment:

  1. And I thought the most drama bees could create involved stings! I am on the edge of my seat wondering what will happen with Warwoman.


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