Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Things Are Better (and a Hive Update)

Hi Everyone,

Thank you for the lovely comments, phone calls, and emails. Things in Sonja-Land are doing much better. My neck didn't swell much (hardly at all, in comparison to my hand. Hooray!) and my hand is almost back to normal. Benedryl is my new favorite friend.

As for the bees, our Blue Moon Hive is doing beautifully. Our Mud Honey Hive? Not so much. We opened her up the other day and discovered lots of capped queen brood. According to Beekeeping for Dummies, our horribly-titled go-to resource, our hive was planning to swarm (aka leave. which is bad news) and replace their queen. Double whammy. What's more, we found only a few spotty patches of new eggs and massive numbers of capped drone brood.

Yesterday we opened up the hive and spent a good 45 minutes destroying the queen brood and hunting for our current queen. We had acquired a replacement queen from Trees 'n Bees but we couldn't put her in the hive until we had destroyed the old queen. But we couldn't find the old queen. In the end, we put everything back together and hoped that our new queen made it through the night in her little cage.

So, we're at a bit of a crossroads and not exactly sure how we're going to proceed. It's possible that our old queen has died and that our worker bees are laying dummy eggs. This would be bad. Or perhaps we're lousy at spotting our queen. Any experienced beekeepers out there? We'd appreciate some advice!