Deformed Drones, Mites On The Missies, And A Nectar Flow
Although it’s only been 6 days since I opened the bees last, I plan on going to my grandparents tomorrow (and it’s supposed to rain) so I wanted to make sure to take a look at the bees.
The queen is laying eggs in a super scattered mess. There were some frames with 4 or 5 eggs on them, others were relatively well covered, but only one had a solid pattern. There were a couple supersedure cells on some frames, so I moved those closer to the center of the brood nest. Not that it matters, clearly.
There was only 1 drone in the hive. Its wing was deformed, so I killed and removed it. There are a quite a few drone cells though, and I left those be. I figure, its spring, there are supposed to be males. The hive has a good flow of nectar coming in (several frames were glittering with it) so they can support a few drones. There was an entire frame of workers that seemed to have a chunk missing from their wings. It was really weird. I only noticed it because their wings looked so small, but they appeared fine otherwise and they could still fly. I’m not sure what to make of it. Also, it appeared as though a fresh batch of bees had just hatched. They were SMALL. Tiny tiny little girls. They were close to half the size of the older bees. Not sure what to make of that either. I also found a mite in the hive. I only saw one, and I squished and removed the bee that it was living on.
The bees don’t seem eager to expand, but they insist on drawing comb out in between the boxes. The queen also insists on laying eggs there. I removed it. In other messy news, there is a lot more propolis in the hive. It’s a thick brown paste that’s a goopy mess. The good news is it comes right off the frames. I cleaned all the edges of the frames off and gained probably a half-inch back. It was nice to have that space to move the frames around a little easier.
I’m a little worried about the deformed wing of the drone and the greatly reduced size of the new workers. I don’t even know where there are combs that small. The mite sighting kind of alerts me to the possibility of other diseases, and the mold in the hive was still noticeable despite the increase in pollen and nectar stores (right next to moldy cells). I think the sooner this queen is replaced, the better.