And All Were Queen Right

I picked the trap out bees up last night instead of today because I wasn’t going to have access to a car that could hold bees comfortably today.  The hive is very full of bees, but I don’t know how they’ve kept themselves going because they have almost no honey. There’s a solid frame of pollen which is great, but honey is nonexistent. I opened the box up today and was very surprised to find a plump laying queen. Eggs were few and scatered, but she looked mature which makes me wonder if maybe she was the queen from the tree. She was a rich dark brown color. There was a swarm cell in the colony that had been visibly impacted, with a clearly cut ring around the entrance of the cell that the bees had resealed. I pulled the cell out and found the queen inside fully developed but dead.

Since they have virtually no brood I decided to combine them with my last remaining nuc. The queen in that nuc laid a solid frame of eggs, without skipping a single cell, top to bottom, side to side, which I haven’t ever seen in person before. The nuc also has a single capped frame of honey. I’m leaving for school this winter, so I decided to combine them with the idea that it would be easier to take care of a hive than a nuc, and the idea that the bees would be able to combine their strengths and get more honey before winter comes. The box is completely full of bees and they were boarding heavily when I picked them up. For whatever reason none of them seem keen on leaving the hive though, which worries me greatly. I don’t understand what’s happening that staying in the hive is a better option than searching for honey.

I used a spare deep to combine the nuc and trap out colony through the newspaper method. Once the colonies have successfully integrated I will rearrange the frames so they fit in a single box, since they only occupy 10 frames total between the two colonies. I plan on doing this with White Hive as well. Oh! The new colony is officially going to be known as Pink Hive. I had to buy a new base board and roof to get this colony out of the tree, and I thought pink would be a fun color to paint the new equipment. Here’s a picture from this evening of them gathering at the entrance!

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