Honey Bee Queen 2.0

“How are your bees?” is the most popular question we get from people (i.e. family) who read the blog.

Well today we checked them again. And…..

…..wait for it….

…..wait…..

WE HAVE A NEW QUEEN!!!

Last week when we checked we had a lot of hatched queen cells but no queen. This week, in the upper box about the 5th frame I spotted our new queen.  The wife was franticly searching but I calmly pointed her out as soon as I saw her large body with tiny wings.  I’m kind of proud that on at least two occasions now I’ve spotted the queen, which is as close as you get to competitive bee keeping sports.  With out further ado, my I be the first to introduce you to our new queen:

Our new queen!

Our new queen!

If we didn’t find a new queen today we would have had to buy one. But for now we don’t have to. The next step is to see if she’s laying eggs. We think we saw one frame of eggs but we’re not sure. We’ll have to wait and see. We did notice that there was more activity in the third box up top so maybe they are preparing that for honey or egg laying. It was amazing to think that our little hive knows what to do and replaced our previous queen all on their own. Let’s just hope she does her job. Regardless, re-queening sets us back a few weeks but it’ll be fine all in all.

The hive looks really healthy and active in my un-knowledgeable  opinion. The bees were really buzzing when while we were inspecting the hive this afternoon.  One other note, the heat wave finally broke and storms just passed through so the hive was extra full today.  I did see one bee fully laden with pollen though so that was a good sign.

Our queen during her coronation.  We didn't see many eggs so we think she just got started. Fingers crossed she does a good job and they keep her.

Our queen during her coronation. We didn’t see many eggs so we think she just got started. Fingers crossed she does a good job and they keep her.

Two bees "talking" to each other. Look at how perfect the honeycomb is.  Not made by man made machine rather the ingenuity and perfection of bees.

Two bees “talking” to each other. Look at how perfect the honeycomb is. Not made by man-made machine rather the ingenuity and perfection of bees.

Bees on top of the frames.

Bees on top of the frames.

A frame full of capped honey.

A frame full of capped honey.

It's amazing just to look at the frames. If you never have, do yourself a favor, find a bee keeper and ask to help out next time they check their hive.

It’s amazing just to look at the frames. If you never have, do yourself a favor, find a bee keeper and ask to help out next time they check their hive.

Also today we celebrated Python Day in town. There’s an old legend that a large snake roamed the area so townsfolk have used it as an excuse to have a fun low-key festival day. There were a lot of activities for the boys including making various crafty snakes. For lunch we had ‘python dogs’ which are really just foot long hot dogs. I even took a stab at learning how to juggle. I wasn’t too bad actually.  After lunch the police shut down the main road and we witnessed the world’s smallest annual parade…or at least I’d bet it’s the smallest. Finally we got to pet live pythons at the old high school.  One neat thing about the school is you can see how worn the stairs are from a century of teachers and students walking up and down them. Was really neat. I love old buildings. It was a great way to spend the day, and get away from work.

The back of the Python Day parade.

The back of the Python Day parade.

The front of the Python Day parade

The front of the Python Day parade

Worn stairs at the old school.

Worn stairs at the old school.

Back at home, we checked the bees like I said. Afterwards I took a quick jaunt around our land. The wild black berry bushes are going like crazy this year. I noticed a lot of the berries on the neighbors’ driveway bushes were starting to ripen so I went back and checked ours.  I discovered a whole new little grove of bushes, but nothing is really blackening up yet….I picked one berry. But soon we’ll be up to our eyeballs in blackberries. Even my bushes are showing some berries and recovering from the deer eating the plants.

House-wise my brother-in-law installed a ceiling fan on the screen porch and moved an outlet so now Christine has a place to plug in her fridge in her studio. I also met with my carpenter to make plans for the studio storage units.  So a lot of good things going on around the house.

Well we’re really happy about our bees and everything is looking good. Now some time to relax and have a beer.

Cheers!

Long live the queen!

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