A Tale of Two Hives

Natural Comb Attached to the Inner Cover

Many, many thanks to the beekeeper who came to help me today. I learned so much!

It turns out my inactive hive did not have a queen but probably had an egg laying drone. Not much to do but break it up and let the bees go of to find new homes.

The second hive was VERY active but they had built all sort of comb in the top super. We broke it up and rubber banded it into empty frames. We also found, marked and clipped the queen. (Well, my beekeeping buddy did that while I watched. Not sure I would ever have enough confidence to clip the wing of a queen.) Then, we assembled two hives in a more open area where they will be in fuller sun and also be easier to work.

Securing the Comb with Rubber Bands

One has lots of the comb but no queen. Once the bees realize they don’t have a queen, they will produce queen cells to make their own. The cells should appear this time next week with a queen coming out around June 8. She’ll be a virgin so will take her own flight into the world where the drones will mate with her. Then, she returns and starts laying.

The other has two boxes with frames drawn with some comb along with the queen. She has work to do to lay eggs and the other bees will need to start drawing comb.

Marking the Queen

I am just amazed by this whole process and eager to learn more. For now, my hives are under control and just need watching, something I will do everyday when I stop by to feed them. We are feeding them inside to help keep wild bees from robbing their food supplies.

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