July 3, 2020
Today our beekeeping mentor, Betsy, came over and we did an inspection of our hives together.
LEFT HIVE CHECK
The left hive was looking weak and it was clear that the numbers had not increased since my last check. Upon further inspection, there was no new brood to be found and we didn’t see a queen. Betsy said it look as though she had been missing for about a week. As soon as she told me that, my mind considered when I’d last checked that one. Hmmm. about a week ago! Hopefully I didn’t hurt the queen in the process.
We did find a couple of queen cells within that colony so it looked as though perhaps the colony had tried to make a new queen, but we just couldn’t find one.
RIGHT HIVE CHECK
The right hive was looking good. They still haven’t expanded to the second super so we decided to remove that one. Betsy told me that she’d read that the bees can sometimes get intimidated by that extra space if they’re not quite ready. Since they had not yet built any comb up there, we thought it best to take it off.
Upon inspection, we did find the queen, along with both capped and uncapped brood. There was also a full frame of honey in there as well. We also found the queen! Once Betsy spotted her and pointed her out, it was easy to tell her apart, yet when looking for the queen on my own, I still have a hard time putting my eyes on her.
(Excuse these vertical videos. Oops! Still cool, though.)
Since we didn’t find a queen on the left hive we decided to see if we could give that one a little boost from parts of the right hive. We ended up taking one frame of honey from the bottom of the right hive, as well as a frame of brood, and moved them over to the left.
While there are lots of plants in bloom around the neighborhood, it couldn’t hurt to feed those bees to ensure they had plenty of food/energy to work. We also moved the brood over in an effort to help boost their numbers, while also encouraging them to make a new queen. I’ll do a check-in a week and see if they’ve done so.
We took the honey super off the left hive and removed the second super off the right hive. We also removed the queen separator from both hives. Fingers crossed the left side makes a new queen! And I’m really hoping to see more honey on the right side.
I’m so grateful for such a wonderful mentor. She’s a master beekeeper and I appreciate all her wisdom. And how cute is that shirt she’s wearing?! I’ll do another check in one week and report back to Betsy. Stay tuned!