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.
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.
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.
One response to “Tale of two hives”
Your first mistake was calling her Queen Calamity, now she’ll want to live up to that 😉