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Checking hives has been on my to do list, but it’s been raining non stop since last Friday. Today, I finally donned the suite, fired up the smoker (I still need to work on that), and headed out to the hives.
The first bit of exciting news is that I am pretty sure I saw the queen in the new hive we created. Definitely bigger than the rest of the bees. I caught two glimpses as she walked around. The new frames haven’t been used at all,and I didn’t see evidence of new cells. It would really be too early for her to be laying. I’ll give her a week or so before I check again.
Meanwhile, I also added another box to the healthy hive. I looked through the frames of the middle box and saw lots of new comb on the empty frames and lots of bees but no queen. She may have been down below but with the threat of rain still there, I didn’t want to spend too much time with the hive open so I only checked out the middle box. I did notice what might be swarm cells. I’m wondering if, because the bees were driven in by the rain, they felt crowded. Maybe the new box will help keep them from swarming, even though it is what they do naturally in order to grow.
I also fed both the hives as their jars were empty and I need to make more bee food.
It is a little frustrating to be so new at something. I did feel more confident today as I suited up. But there is just so much I don’t know. I’ll keep an eye out for a swarm…I’m pretty sure they haven’t swarmed already. You can potentially catch a swarm so I should put together some more frames.