Monthly Archives: May 2020

Tale of two hives

When I give new beekeepers advice, I always recommend starting two hives if they are able. I’m really glad I followed my own advice this year because one hive is doing really well and the jury is still out on the other.

I installed both hives the afternoon of May 9th, 2020. I checked both hives on Thursday May 14th to see if the queens had been released. In one hive, the queen who will henceforth be named Queen Quarantine, was released and I refilled the feeder.

The second hive the queen had not be released and was dead in the cage.

Time to call Miracle Max

I was able to get a new Queen the following Monday the 18th and got her installed. I’m going to call her Queen Calamity.

Queen Calamity

I checked both hives on Saturday May 23rd. I found Queen Quarantine and six out of the eight frames were drawn out with comb and eggs and larvae were present. They had also drained the feeder. Since a good majority of the frames were drawn out and Austin is also on a nectar flow, I added another 8 frames to the hive and refilled the feeder.

Queen Calamity’s hive is limping along. The good news is she was released and I found her in the hive. They had not drawn out a lot of comb probably due to being queenless for extended period of time. I did see eggs and some very young larvae which is consistent with a queen only being in the hive a short time. I also saw a few cells that had multiple eggs which is a sign of laying workers. Typically it is hard to come back once you get into a laying worker situation, but I’m going to give it a few days to give the new queen a chance. I also had emptied the feed and refilled since it had been in there for an extended time and I didn’t want it to start fermenting.

Next week’s inspection will be important. If Calamity’s hive is still lacking drawn comb and brood, I will most likely need to bite the bullet and combine with Quarantine to cut my losses. If it looks like she is turning it around, we will give her a chance and perhaps I will supplement with a frame from Quarantine to jump start brood production.

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Don’t call it a comeback…

So 2019 didn’t happen with starting my hives again. The house we were building wasn’t quite ready yet especially the area where the hives would go. So I had to punt on 2019 and wait until 2020, and I wasn’t going to let a little something like a global pandemic stop me. If you are interested in the house we built, you can head over to my other blog and check it out.

I have two hives set up on the far end of the area where we plan on having a small fruit orchard of twelve trees.


On the opposite end is where our raised garden and green house is situated.

Descendant 8

The hope is our hives will help pollinate our orchard as well as whatever is growing in the garden.

The install was straightforward. Once again, the hardest part is just getting the dang syrup can out of the package. After that, it is just shake shake shake.

I haven’t named my queens yet and I’m open to suggestions although I’m leaning toward Queen Quarantine as one. I’m excited to have hives again, and I’m looking forward to chronicling their progress in our new home.

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