April 21, 2011

The Queen is Free!

After work I rushed home to check on how the queen was doing. The bees were upset that I was checking in on them. It was 41 degrees F today and windy, which is too cold for my bees, so they did not appreciate me lifting the top off their house. I managed to grab the queen box however and -- hurray! The queen was out.
I suspect she was in the hive leading the bees on activities. I hope so anyway. I won't know for a few more days. When I check the hive again hopefully there will be drawn comb with little bee eggs. If I see that I can rest easy for awhile.
I am not sure how I could have avoided this blunder, but putting the queen box between the frames separates the frames and creates a big enough space to build extra comb.
Instead of making comb on the frames provided, the bees decided to get creative. The smaller comb pictured above was on the queen's box and the larger comb was hanging off the side of a frame. The bees got snarky when I took their comb away, which is understandable. I was impressed with the amount of work they did in five days, but if unchecked it would have caused big problems. In hindsight the queen was probably on the comb when I yanked it which likely led to to the colony snarkiness. I didn't get stung, but one bee really wanted to get to me through my glove.

In any case it looks like things will be better and now that I've removed the creative comb and queen box, the bees are on the right track. I will check in on the little ladies in a few days.

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