The Queen Is Dead, Long Live The Queen!

A quick update because I should be working. Mother Nature is going crazy out there, I’m kind of glad to be indoors.

We checked the bees yesterday. Hive No. 1 no longer has a queen. We didn’t see any eggs and I saw several anomalies that I think are queen “cells” where the hive is attempting to re-queen itself for the second time in as many years. I believe they’ll keep making queens until they find one they like and there you go: new queen. Other than the queen issue, the hive looks strong. We took out two frames of honey out of the top medium super. The other frames in that super had either small amounts of honey or brood in them so we left them in the hive. But because there isn’t much room left, we did add another medium box up top.

It’s a tall hive.

I spotted queens in hives No. 2 and No. 3. right away. Hive No. 2 is nearly filled up with comb, honey and brood so we added the next “deep” to that hive. Hive No. 3 is lagging behind a little so we left it as is.

I did get to taste the honey from hive No. 1 and it tasted like, well it tasted like honey. It’s a nice medium color. Incidentally everything (honey, comb, bees) in hive No. 3 is really light comparatively. It’s interesting to compare and contrast now that we have three hives.

Here's a frame from hive no. 1

Here’s a frame from hive no. 1

I don't know enough to say for sure but this may be one of several queen cells being attended to in hive no. 1.

I don’t know enough to say for sure but this may be one of several queen cells being attended to in hive no. 1.

Checking hive no. 1.

Checking hive no. 1.

Here you can see a frame from hive no. 3. the honey, cells and bees are really light in color.

Here you can see a frame from hive no. 3. the honey, cells and bees are really light in color.

Walking past the peach trees we noticed we have little peaches growing where there were flowers just a few weeks ago.  At least something is growing properly.  Fingers crossed we’ll have peaches right out of the gate this year. The service berries are coming in nicely as well.

We have peaches. :)

We have peaches. 🙂

Allegany service berry buds are forming. Actually may be a good crop this year.

Allegany service berry buds are forming. Actually may be a good crop this year.

 

 

The wife's red oak, that we planted last month, has grown a foot this spring. All the green shoots are new growth.

The wife’s red oak, that we planted last month, has grown a foot this spring. All the green shoots are new growth.

As I was working today I was distracted by a disturbance on the front porch. A pair of what I believe are ‘Eastern Bluebirds’ evicted the House Finch from its nest. I thought of intervening, and went outside a few times, but in the end I’ll let nature take its course. If the are Bluebirds, then they’re actually a lot rarer than a finch, so maybe it’s okay in the end. I just feel bad because I watched the finches tirelessly build the nest all Spring.

There is another finch nest on the next column down, so not all is lost.

I wish I had a nice zoom lens for my fancy camera. I can’t seem to get a good photo from inside the house of the birds.

What I think are 'Eastern Bluebirds' evicted mama House Finch from her nest today.

What I think are ‘Eastern Bluebirds’ evicted mama House Finch from her nest today.

I wish I had a zoom lens for the nice Canon camera. This is good as I could do. Do you know what kind of birds these are? They are blue in the daylight; I think they are 'Eastern Bluebirds'

I wish I had a zoom lens for the nice Canon camera. This is good as I could do. Do you know what kind of birds these are? They are blue in the daylight; I think they are ‘Eastern Bluebirds’

One other note, inside I tried to clean my sink drain. But I can’t get the trap off. The plumbers mounted the pipe too low, so the trap hits the bottom of the cabinet. Turns out most of the excess long hair clogging the drain was accessible from up top. Eventually I’ll have to saw a hole in the bottom of the cabinet to clear the trap and make it removable.

It’s always something around here.

If you know what kind of bird took over the nest, let me know.

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4 thoughts on “The Queen Is Dead, Long Live The Queen!

  1. Very cool. You have so much going on in your house it’s no wonder you don’t run! Its not necessary! The queen bee thing fascinates me. After reading one of your earlier posts about how you can always spot them I did some reading on bees. I was inspired to learn and was amazed by the hierarchy and structure in the bee hive, very interesting stuff.

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    • My wife started bee keeping kind of on a whim, and I have to tell you it’s extremely fascinating. We still have a lot to learn, but we’ve also learned a lot in one short year. I look at bees in a totally new light since we started keeping them.

      One interesting side effect, I think they actually help slow me down and get me looking more closely and holistically at nature. For my mind it’s bad in a way as it only adds to the things I try to process in any given day despite the concept that it is “slowing me down”; but I guess more to the point, when I walk around the yard I’m looking at everything – what are the insects doing, what are the plants doing, what are the animals all doing. The bees work in concert and create so much from basically nothing, I can now see that same process in everything else.

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  2. I think the bird you are trying to I.D. might be a Barn Swallow (or in your case a Porch Swallow). They have the blue coloring on their backs similar to an Eastern Bluebird, but the Swallows have forked tails. The Barn Swallows like to nest on rafters in buildings or on a sheltered ledge, whereas the Bluebirds like to nest in bird boxes or old woodpecker holes. You might notice that you start to feel like you are in the movie “Birds”, Barn Swallows are known to dive bomb potential predators, but don’t worry it’s just for show.

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    • Thanks! I think you hit the nail on the head – they’re barn swallows. We have at least two pairs in our yard. The house finches have their other nest still, plus there’s another finch nest on the back porch. So we’ve got at least three nests across the two species.

      The bars swallows love flying through the breezeway, I was watching them last night at dusk.

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