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Sunday, July 18, 2010

West Hive Crisis!

Late afternoon yesterday I went to the farm to check on the bees.  As I shared with friends on facebook, I wore full body armor and brought lots and lots of smoke....I did not want to get stung again.  In checking on the West hive I noticed very few bees at the entrance as compared to a few weeks ago.  As I looked in the honey super I found that the bees still have not drawn out any honey comb on any of the frames.  I decided to dig into the hive and give it a thorough inspection.  I found lots of nectar and pollen being stored, a few drones, but NO brood.  I checked nearly every frame in both deep supers and no sign of a working queen.  I also noticed what looked like queen cells from a swarm.  I took some photos with my cell phone and sent one to David Burns at Long Lane Honey Bee Farm who confirmed it was a queen cell and that my hive has swarmed.  Apparently, the hive tried raising about five virgin queens, but something must have gone wrong and there is no queen in the hive.

Frankly, I feel stronger queen is gone with half the hive....there is no brood in the's dying unless I can get a queen in there ASAP.  I am suppose to call David at Long Lane tomorrow morning to see what he can do.  From my best guess, I believe she swarmed about 3 weeks ago.

Now for some good news.  My East hive is going strong with lots of brood in various stages.  I placed the honey super on the hive this past Tuesday when I got stung on the face, and they have honey comb drawn out on every frame and are filling it with honey.  I snuck a pinch of honey off of one of the capped sections from the brood chamber and boy was it good....a sweet reward on a bad day.

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