Monday, March 22, 2010

Hive Update

We took advantage of the gorgeous weather on Saturday to take a quick peek into the hives. 

We wanted to verify a few things:
a) The our queen in the Mud Honey hive was laying [and that she had a strong pattern]
b) That our queen in Blue Moon hive was truly dead and that the hive was headed toward extinction [thanks, in part, to laying workers.]
 We opened up Mud Honey first and were pleasantly surprised to see capped larvae and eggs. Well done, little queen! Good news all around

 We then popped the top on of Blue Moon for a quick inspection. 

 We immediately noticed the hive's rather robust numbers; this was surprising as we'd expected them to be severely depleted. We were in for yet another big shock: we spotted a queen.  We know that we had laying workers, all the signs were there: nothing but drones, multiple eggs per cell, eggs on the side of the cell, etc. 

So how the heck do we now have a new, unmarked queen? Even more puzzling was that the hive was virtually empty: no eggs, no larvae, and no honey. Frankly, we'd abandoned it since there was no use feeding a doomed hive. 

I'm going to head over there tomorrow and slap a feeder on it and see how they do. We were puzzled by the absence of eggs. It is possible that our queen isn't fertilized? Or isn't laying eggs because there is no food to feed additional members? We are mystified on multiple levels...