and then there were three, maybe

Wildcamera

More bee stories, my latest passion. My hive survived the winter and it looked so strong, I decided to split it into two. In the meantime, I had also purchased a package (roughly 3 pounds) of bees with a queen.

I bought lumber to build a couple of hive stands and a new step for my she-shed-bee-shed.

Grandkids were here and we literally spent hours watching the bees bring back pollen. And they made me wear a tiara all weekend (doesn’t everyone have one in their bag of tricks) because I was the princess bee and they were the brother worker bees. I decided not to delve too deeply into the drones’ (male bees) role and demise.

All looked honky dory until I did a hive inspection today. I knew I would have to wait a month before the split hive showed evidence of a new queen laying eggs.

First, the worker bees have to “create” a queen by selecting and feeding a young larva royal jelly. Then it takes 16 days to hatch a new queen and about a week for her to fly off into the sunset with as many drones as she can find. And she has to make it back to the hive without getting snatched up by a bird as a tasty snack.

Well the original hive and the new package have no new eggs or larvae. But the one I thought was forming a queen, had fresh eggs. I must have mistakenly put her in the new hive. The original hive is trying to make a queen. And the package has some young brood I put in from my original hive so maybe they will make a queen. If not, I’ll put it atop one of the other two. Yikes!

They and the hummingbirds loved our rhododendron, which I could watch from the comfort of my living room chair.

This is quite a learning curve. Tim demonstrated his true love by driving an hour north to pick up my new package of bees when I was out of state visiting my daughter. Then he drove home with them in the car! My hero.

I’ll give them a week and see what happens.