Yesterday was a very exciting day at Indigo Acres. Thelma II, our new Queen, was shipped overnight and arrived at 10:30 am. As soon as she arrived, we suited up and headed out to the apiary. It was time to re-queen our hive.
We kept Thelma II at a distance, until we knew we had Thelma I successfully removed from the hive. The hive is slowly growing in numbers, so it took a bit of time to locate her. By the 4th frame, she presented herself. I carefully removed her from the colony and placed her in her own sealed container.
Once again, it was obvious she was not working to potential. There were minimal new eggs to be found. The worker bees, on the other hand, were very busy making honey! What an impressive work ethic! Today, the theme of the hive appeared to be teamwork…
Each time I visit the hives, I become more impressed with the bee community! We have so much to learn from these tiny creatures.
Sunday, we will check the hives and find out of Queen Thelma II has been released by the colony! Let’s BEE positive and hope for the best!
I thought it was time for a little hive update! Louise’s hive is amazing! We have added a second deep hive body, which is filling up fasts.
Hundreds of baby bees are hatching daily! The ladies are very busy collecting pollen. As you can see from the photo below, pollen comes in a variety of colors, depending on the flower. So pretty!
Unfortunately, Thelma’s hive has not been as productive. We gave her a few more weeks, to see if there would be improvements in production. Today, the hive agreed with our observation. The bees have started to build supersedure cells. They are preparing to hatch and replace the current queen, due to her lack of production. We are choosing to not allow this to happen, by removing the cell. Rearing another queen, from the same gene pool, will not help the situation. A new queen has been ordered. Once she arrives, Thelma will be removed and Thelma II will be introduced to the colony. I am crossing my fingers that the colony is happy with the queen. Time will tell…
Check back next week, for more bee drama at Indigo Acres!
What is it about babies? I love babies! Human babies…critter babies…they are all completely adorable! Baby bees are new to my list of cuteness. I must admit, they are at the very top! This little sweetie welcomed me to the hive, during inspection today.
Now keep in mind, the female worker bee constitutes the majority of the colony’s population. Worker bees do most of the chores for the hive, except for the laying of the eggs which is done by the Queen. These lovely ladies live only 6 weeks during the colony’s busy season. However, during the winter months, worker bees live up to 4-8 months. As the worker bee ages, she loses her fuzzy hairs and becomes darker in color.
In this photo, you can see worker bees tending to the brood. The closed yellow cells hold the hive’s future worker bees. The open cells are where the baby bees have already chewed their way out. The queen will lay a new egg in the open cells, and the amazing process will begin, once again.
The open cells, in the photo below, are filled with pollen. The closed cells, that look like Kix cereal, in the upper right hand corner, are capped drone brood. The drone bees are the only male bees in the colony. They make up an extremely small percentage of the hive’s total population. They have one job and one job only…to fertilize the queen bee. Because of this, the ladies tolerate the drone’s presence. Once mating season comes to a close, the drone bees are tossed out the front door, by the worker bees! Life is tough for a drone.
It was another exciting hive inspection day. Queen Thelma and Louise both said hello today, too. It was nice to see them and their freshly laid eggs. Until next week!