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I worked on the hives today. My main mission was to fill feeders and look for queen cells in the hive we split off last week.
Neither hive needed food so the nectar flow must be sustaining them. My bee mentors tell me that if they don’t need the food, they won’t take it. I did leave the jars in there just in case.
The first hive is “buzzing” along. They are building new comb on the middle four frames in the top box, and I saw the nicely marked queen wandering around on one of them. She had obviously been laying eggs. I didn’t go any further into the bottom box as I was worried about hurting the queen.
The best news is that there are three clearly identifiable queen cells in the second hive! So, they are doing what they should to get the hive re-queened. They have not built any new comb on the frames but are using the natural comb they created. Now it’s a matter of time: it takes 16 days for the queen to emerge, another week or so before she takes her mating flight and then a few more days for her to start laying eggs. I’ll check on them again about June 10th or so to see if any queens have emerged.
I had much better luck with my smoker this time. Mostly patience to get up a good head of smoke. I did have to relight it in between checking the two hives.
I’m still nervous about doing damage such as smushing the queen but each time I suit up and head out, I feel more confident.