Last week I installed a new queen in the Hello Kitty (HK) hive and noticed that there was what looked to be some new capped brood from the original queen that I thought was dead.  I also moved a couple of brood combs from BnB2 with the slight possibility that I brought over her queen as well. I hadn’t been able to look in the Hello Kitty hive all week because it’s been raining continually since Monday, but today the clouds broke, so I played hooky from work this morning and went to see how many queens were in ther.

As I worked forward from the back, I ran into 2 combs with capped brood – not the best looking pattern, but capped brood nonetheless.  That meant that there was a queen loose in there somewhere (or had been in the last 8 or more days).

Newly capped brood in HK

Newly capped brood in HK

The next two combs were the ones I brought over from BnB2 and there was still capped brood on those.  They also have some good honey bands above them.  The next bar was the one with the new queen hanging from it in her cage.  They had built a nice little comb under the cage.

Comb built around the queen cage over the past week.

Comb built around the queen cage over the past week.

Unfortunately, they either starved her or stung her because she was dead in the cage.I feel bad because a) I was looking forward to having her genetics in my bee yard, and b) I wasted $28 on a queen I didn’t need, and c) she died an unnecessary death.  But, it meant that I didn’t have to quickly set up another hive and take stores from BnB1 & BnB2.

I went through the rest of the hive, but never found the queen.  Of course I didn’t see her before on any of my other inspections either and yet she was still in there.  She sure is elusive! I saw some new larvae in some of the cells so that means that she’s been in there less than 8 days ago.  There’s still the possibility that there is no queen, but now at least I have a baseline that I can use for checking again to see if there are new larva or eggs or some sign of her.  One bar up front was new and had a nice new comb on it – hopefully a good spot for the queen to lay some eggs. I didn’t see any new eggs, but I’m probably just blind.  I just made an appointment for an eye exam  – maybe new glasses will help. I really need to get a big magnifying glass before my next inspection.

A peek inside HK.  Lots of debris below the screen which I cleaned off.

A peek inside HK. Lots of debris below the screen which I cleaned off.

With all the moving of combs into HK over the past few weeks, she’s got 12 combs to build brood and honey on.  I added a couple of new bars between some of the others for them to make some new combs.  I think she’s got enough resources to build out before the fall comes.  I’m still feeding her sugar water until I use up what I made (one more quart).  I expected the one in there to be empty today, but there was still 1/2 a quart left.

I ran out of time to check on BnB2 to see if her queen is okay (I had a presentation to do at work), but I’ll try again this weekend.  Hopefully, there are no surprises there!

Categories: Splits


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