Saturday, June 4, 2011
We Have Virgin Queens
I stopped by the farm mid-afternoon to do a quick check around the beeyard, including the mating nucs. I found all the queen cells empty, and some of the nucs with queens while others had none; of course they could be out mating as it was mid-afternoon, but those flights are typically short with an average length of only 13 minutes. I did find one mating nuc with a queen and no bees; they apparently abandoned that nuc and joined another. I decided to take that virgin queen, mark her, and place her in Hive #8 which was the Kull Extraction. I was originally going to place her in Hive #2, but upon investigation I found brood and a large queen! What?!?! How did she get there?!?!?! The only thing I can think of was that she was part of a swarm that usurped the hive. Anyway, I decided to mark her and when I was placing her in the hive she flutter-jumped onto my bee suit and then promptly fell into the tall grass....NOOOOO!!!! For those who don't know, that is a death sentence to a laying queen. She is too large to fly back to the hive, and I couldn't find her anywhere. That bummed me out the rest of the day.