Emma and I checked up on the nuc and the old hive yesterday. The nuc’s doing fine, it’s got a couple of frames of brood, some stores and about a frame and a half still to draw out. I popped back today to give them some sugar syrup to help them along. This week the temperatures have been a bit lower, more like a British summer, 16-18°C type of thing, and it may rain. As we haven’t had much rain at all this month it could be there isn’t much nectar out there either.
Can you see Queen Rose in the middle there? A little court is turning to face her. It was only March she was marked and already her blue dot is starting to fade.
Back at the main hive, which we split Queen Rose from two weeks ago, things were perplexing. The two queen cells had hatched out, with a round hole at the bottom. We also found one in the middle of a frame which the bees had destroyed and eaten the larvae from. And…a sealed queen cell. It looked like an emergency one, as it was quite small and made in the middle rather than hanging down from the bottom. No eggs or sign of the two hatched queens, but an unmarked queen is easy to miss and they would only have emerged about 12 days ago.
We erred on the side of caution and left the sealed queen cell alone, just in case we don’t have a queen in there, the two queens could have killed each other or be missing in action. Hopefully the bees will know what’s best to do. I spoke to Pat afterwards and he thought the new QC might have been an emergency one created after we split them two weeks ago, due to the sudden drop in queen substance when Queen Rose was transferred to the nuc. He thought we had done the right thing by not destroying the QC and advised leaving them alone for a week or two – nice and easy!
Emma inspecting the old hive, with a rare ray of sunshine penetrating through the trees…
Am very jealous of Jane, an Ealing beekeeper I spoke to yesterday who has two supers on now and no queen cells in either of her two hives yet! She deserves it though, she’s had only a tiny bit more honey than my none over the last couple of years and has made all of us several extremely good cakes.