Not Much To Report
A break in the heat, with enough light to see by, presented its self today. It’s supposed to get up to 85 today, but for now its overcast and only 66 degrees.
I opened White Hive and was surprised to see the queen on the only frame that the bees are starting to draw out in the super. The 6 frames on the edges of the super are almost fully capped (some cells have been extended to continue filling them) and three of the 4 empty frames are virtually untouched, despite being covered in bees. To ensure I didn’t loose the queen I smoked most of the bees down out of the super. I found the queen on a frame of emerging brood. The top brood box has at least 2 frames with 70% of them being capped honey. I only made it four or five frames in because the bees were extremely unhappy with me. They would appear calm and then suddenly a large group of them would launch themselves at my glove or my helmet. Even with a mesh screen around your face, having a dozen or so bees throw themselves at you isn’t fun. There was almost a constant *smack* on my helmet from bees slamming themselves against it. My gloves were stung a few times too.
I’m still not sure what I want to name this queen. White Hive has become very organized with her at its head. A large number of girls come out every evening to clean (washboard) the ‘front porch’ and the face of the hive. I might even have a picture of that for you!
It’s not the best quality, as my phone’s zoom is not the best, but my camera has ceased to work so this is the best I can do at the moment. Anyway, I like this shot because it shows the difference in apparent activity with the two hives. Trunchen Hive occasionally has a small group of girls outside to fan air in, but they never washboard. To almost be completely opposite, White Hive only ever has a few girls fanning air in, while the majority washboards.
This queen also makes golden-brown drones, and is a light golden brown herself. She has, what I call, a “mole” on her right side which I find to be a rather original characteristic. Her main color is a golden color, but she has a small brown smudge in the middle of her abdomen, just to the right, well before the rest of her abdomen tapers off in both size and darkness of color. And there’s also this “organized” defense of the hive to consider… I’m not sure, but I’ll definitely think of something. Suggestions would be fun!
I peeked (with effort) into Trunchen Hive. The bees have glued the cloth on the top box down so successfully that after I managed to pull it up some of the fibers from it stayed attached to the box. I wasn’t going to bother trying to get into the hive after this, especially since I knew the other two boxes were full and could see all I really needed to. The last two bars on the left side of the top box (when looking at the hive from the front) weren’t completely drawn out, but I suspect that they’ll fill in before the end of the year. I’m still rather concerned on how I’m supposed to get the bees to condense themselves into just two boxes… There was a large patch of capped brood visible in the top box, so I can’t just take it off at the end of the year. Warre’s book says absolutely nothing on HOW you’re supposed to condense the bees, only that you have to. *sigh*