Saturday, August 24, 2019

Queened

Today the weather is perfect and I went out to inspect the bees. First I may have finally solved the problem of my smoker going out too quickly - I used wood pellets that are meant for wood stoves. (We have them because they make excellent litter for the rabbit's litter box. We do not have a wood stove.) The smoker stayed lit and smoking exuberantly for the entire time I needed smoke. That was a nice change of pace.

In Beeyoncé's hive, there was a reasonable amount of honey and some brood cells. I did not see her highness the queen, but I didn't inspect every comb. Things were looking fine so I let them alone.

In the Langstroth, I moved all the top bars out which were moderately full of honey without any evidence of brood. There weren't a lot of bees left, either. The box got refilled with its original frames and will be ready to start a new colony in the spring.

In the other top bar, I found evidence of a new laying queen (larvae and brood cells, not just drone cells). And then I saw the new queen herself. She shall be called Hebee. (Hebe was the goddess of youth in ancient Greek mythology.) This hive also had a decent amount of honey and so I will continue to let them do their thing. Clearly they already have, as I have no idea how they managed to requeen but I'm glad they did.

I took all the bars from the Langstroth and am slowly extracting honey. I crushed some of the combs and they are in a strainer set over a pot in the sun. Right now, everything is outside basically attracting all the bees who are coming to get what honey they can. By nightfall they should be back in their hives and I'll be able to bring everything into the house at which point I can do a better job of getting the honey out of the rest. 

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