My new queens in the nuc are supposed to hatch either this Saturday or Sunday, so I ran out to the hives today to try and capture one of the queen cells to throw in the top bar. And nothing went as planned. Of course.
I only looked at two hives: the Top Bar and the Nuc. Here’s the report:
There is, in fact a queen! And she sucks. 🙂 She’s obviously an emergency queen with a short abdomen. The hive still has not progressed beyond the original four bars, and while there is brood and it’s a good laying pattern, this hive is just plain weak. The bottom is littered with bodies, including wasps, and I can only assume that they are getting raided and attacked. Then again, they are very calm, so maybe not….
Either way, I’m just going to let this hive go for the rest of the year. They still have time to pull this out, but the chances are low for survival.
Speaking of survival… Sigh…. My second frame of eggs came to naught. The dumb things didn’t even really look after the eggs at all, and most of them were dead. And no queen cells to talk about at all.
I figured I’d look at all five frames just to see if it was worth trying to save, and on the last frame I found a small infestation of hive moths. Double sigh…. I pulled the infestation (two nasty squirmy larvae!), but this hive has maybe 500 bees left in it, and if they can’t even defend against hive moths, I have no hope for them. Plus, they’ve been robbed dry of honey, and they had quite a bit at one point. Now that I think about it, I wonder if the bees in there were even part of the original hive, or were they just robbers? Either way, I’m closing this little experiment for this year.
I’ll give it a whirl again next year.
All in all a fairly disappointing trip. I’m glad there’s a surprise queen in the top bar, but unless she gets her butt in gear, that hive is dead. I had hoped for more out of the nuc as well.
This Saturday, a county inspector is coming to do a mite count at my hives. It’s part of a volunteer study to see how mites are affecting hives in the county. I’m interested to see how my hives stack up to the competition especially because I don’t medicate. I guess we’ll see what happens.