Bee inspection April 2012

I manned up and went out and inspected Darjeeling much more closely today – even though all I wanted to do was nap! But I’m really glad I did because the results made me very happy.

I had been worried because I saw all these ejected dead nearly adult-bees on the ground in front of the box – not Lady Grey, just Darjeeling. I wondered if the colony had contracted chalk brood or something.

But there was no sign of disease and in fact the population is booming! The frames look great, both the bottom and top boxes. No need to switch them around, growth looks even.

We’ve got a hard working queen here!

Not so great was that they’ve been building brood between the boxes, so opening them was like the slaughter of the innocents. Poor bees. They swarmed over the exposed larvae just like nursemaids freaking out about their dying babes. I felt pretty terrible.

I probably should have scraped that mess off between the boxes, but they’ll just rebuild it anyway. So I left it.

They haven’t touched the honey super I put on, even though it’s full of crazy comb and just waiting for honey. In fact there weren’t many stores of honey throughout the hive itself either. This is bad, bad news because the biggest part of the nectar flow is happening right now. If I understand right, the hives should be bursting at the seams with honey. Siiiigh. We’ll just have to wait and see what a May or June inspection reveals.

And the important thing is that they’re thriving, right?

Lady Grey looked pretty anemic by comparison. I did see a bunch of eggs in her so there is a laying queen, but she’s not producing anywhere near the population that Darjeeling’s queen is. There were no supercedure queen cells that I saw, so the colony must be happy with her; I wonder what’s the matter. She could have swarmed without my noticing; though she didn’t look all that populous 3 weeks ago either. Her honey supers were completely vacant, with no new comb drawn.

Maybe I’m just destined never to get any honey. Sob.

One Response to “Bee inspection April 2012”

  1. Sam Smith Says:

    Lol the bees you saw scurrying to those dead larva’s, if you watch they start licking the larva, they don’t try to save them they reuse the good stuff then toss the bits that are left over, most of those were probably drones, when you use foundation the bees try to build drones anywhere they can. Flow depends on your climate but most of every ware has dandelions, it is still early were I am for any significant flow.

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