Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Meet The Drones!

These guys are everywhere! Most of them come from Veronika’s daughters, so their genes are all from the WSU research program. I can’t remember whether Veronika predates the German Carniolan semen addition or not, I’ll have to check. Although there’s a lot of variation, they tend towards the dark…

Back to the queen in the cage. After 24 hours I checked for eggs and there were none! Great Vinagaroons! That’s all we need, a queen of refined tastes, doesn’t like our little plastic cups. But, after 48 hours, I saw an egg in every cup and let her out. She walked a quarter inch and…layed an egg! I like this queen. I’ve taken to calling her Antoinette since she’s got family out in Louisiana.

Today I checked to see if the eggs were hatching. I had started wondering whether I missed them on Friday, but no, I still have a day to go. I moved some very young brood directly across from the eggs and put more pollen supplement in sugar syrup on the top bars so the little princesses will have a nice breakfast.

CFC#1 in Pieces
Cell Finishing Colony #1, a truly monstrous colony that I have added 6 frames of about-to-emerge brood to over the last two weeks, decide to swarm during the warm weekend weather. Here’s what’s left.

I removed 5 frames of pollen and nectar for the swarm box and reorganized the colony for cell finishing again. I missed the swarm cells since the bees were so thick. Easier to see today. I put about-to-emerge brood in the bottom box with the heaviest stores on the sides. Next box up was eggs, open brood, younger capped brood and heaviest pollen frames left. Third box up had no brood and just lighter stores with the super on top of that.
Interestingly, the old queen is still in there so I think that means one of three things, which I’ll let any readers puzzle out. This box won’t be any good for a couple weeks, which is why I prepped Cell Finishing Colony #2 yesterday.
CFC#1 Minus 5 for Swarm Box

Cell Finishing Colony #2 is a three-box colony loaded with young bees that have emerged recently and has very little in the way of eggs and open brood. The queen, another of Veronika’s daughters, is now under an excluder in the bottom box with some dummy frames on the outside and the oldest capped brood, so she’ll soon have room to lay; but that brood won’t need feeding until after the queen cells are sealed. All the brood is in the second box along with the pollen combs. There’ll be too much open brood when the queen cells arrive so I will remove 3 frames and then add 2 frames of pollen with the frame of queen cells. Box three was moved above the two supers and contains open nectar only, so I expect they’ll be starting queen cells in box 2 which is what I want.
CFC#2 Box 2 (Another chilly day with rain and good tempered bees!)

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