Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Queen is in the Building

I always believed the Queen was in the hive but I had not seen her and not seen nay new larvae. I had not been in the hive long enough for a through exam the last two times. The weather warmed up today and it was nice and sunny without much wind. Today was the day to look even though I had no assistants this time. I was to be the beekeeper, camera person and general everything but it was time.
I lifted the top hive box off, the one with the two long frames extending down into the lower hive box and this piece of comb in the bottom. The frame next to the hive wall was empty so I tied this piece of comb in and returned it to the hive.

I had plans of taking notes, marking things and taking pictures etc so I would know where the Queen was if I found here. Too confusing, too much to do so I blundered on checking all the frames on both sides including this one. I need a camera person, I had other interesting shot attempts but none of them were in frame or focus.
I did not spot any larvae but I was not looking in the right places, pollen yes, honey yes but no wigglers.. The bees in the bottom hive box seemed very annoyed so I scuttled through quickly but thoroughly without making notes. My bee suit works fine but I am not yet accustomed to the buzz.

I checked what I thought might be a Queen cell (See earlier post Inspection Day 5/3/09 for a picture of the suspect cell) but it had not gotten bigger and was capped off looking like just some odd comb. All the frames I have mentioned so far were all in the lower hive box.
And then I spotted a darker bee with a longer abdomen!

She was on one side of the frame and would migrate back and forth to the other side but I was able to score a couple pictures of her... assuming I am correct in my unlearned opinion.
She is the big one, just to the left of the small cluster on the frame and down an inch or so with her head pointed to the bottom of the page.
A couple seconds later and she has turned around, heading up with the shiny wings on the edge of the cluster in the upper right corner of the frame..
If you go to my Flickr Site the same pictures have her framed and marked so you can see her when you pass your cursor over the pictures. Look for pictures marked Queen 2 and Queen 3..

The first picture shows some extra comb I cut off the bottom of one of the long frames. The other long frame had the comb I tied into the empty frame (see first picture) You can see larvae in the dark wax area in the middle. I do not know how old they are at this stage but they do not show any "bee" parts yet.

All the frames in the bottom hive box are generally full. In the top box has the two long frames full, the one with the tied in piece and three more close to full. The last four frames have 25-50% comb in them. I will have to check with the experts about adding another super.
Unless advised otherwise I do not plan on visiting the hive 16 days are so. If I have not done so I will add the next super at that time.

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