With Queen Knives recent ascension to power, our whole evil-ex super concept got thrown off. We will still add the evil-ex supers as needed, but decided to pay respects to Ramona by creating a super that depicts the epic battle between Ramona and Knives from the comic. We like to think this is what went down in the hive as well.
Thanks to the camera team for their drawing, inking, and lettering skills.
I was a little nervous after last week’s inspection of Ramona’s hive, but I now think she is starting to recover from the pesticide incident of a few weeks ago. All the capped brood have now emerged and her numbers are a lot stronger by evidence of the quantity of bees in the hive. The only cause of concern was the wax moth I think I found hiding in the outer cover which promptly got squished.
I also put the feeder back on the hive to encourage the girls to draw out more frames in the 2nd super which in turn should allow the population to expand. Right now I’ll be happy if I can get all 8 frames in each of the two supers fully drawn out. The inch of rain we got earlier in the week should also help matters in the flower department. This drought is just miserable, but it has been a great learning experience on how to handle hives in these conditions.
Poor Ramona. She has one bad leg, a terrible Texas drought to contend with, and now what appears to be a run in with some sort of pesticide. I was greeted this morning with hundreds of dead bees in front of the hive.
There were also a few dead bees on the landing in front of the hive. I also noticed some bees walking around with great difficulty and were obviously affected by something. This just breaks my heart.
The silver lining is that upon opening the hive, they seem to be doing ok. I didn’t see Ramona but there were plenty of eggs to be found plus several good frames of capped brood. Hopefully this is just a minor step back, and the hive will weather this storm.
We got some really nice macro shots of Ramona’s hive today. For some reason, Ramona’s hive loves pollen more than I ever found in Marge’s hive. She seriously has several frames full of the stuff. It is very colorful, and I would love to know the source of all the different colors.
Here is a nice shot of some capped brood with not one, but two “newbees” emerging!
Since I have been neglecting Marge’s hive in my recent posts, we will most likely be doing a honey harvest from her hive next weekend. Even with the drought, she is kicking ass and making honey. We now have almost 3 supers full of the stuff so we will be taking one off next week so I don’t have to get on a ladder to inspect her hive.
Now that I have two hives, it is interesting to see how each one has its own personality and quirks. Like most first borns, Marge is very organized and responsible. Most of her frames were dedicated to one purpose be it brood, honey, or pollen. As the second born, Ramona is more of a free spirit and not so orderly. Take the frame below which is a combination of pollen, brood and honey.
A good majority of her frames are like this although she does have 2-3 dedicated completely to brood. If she didn’t have those, I’d be a little worried of having a queen that didn’t lay well, but the hive appears to be growing albeit more slowly than I would like.
I was totally expecting to find a new queen in Ramona’s hive today after the discovery of the supersedure cell a few weeks ago. Not only was the supersedure cell completely gone, but Ramona was spotted and is alive and well.
Does anyone else think that Ramona’s marking looks like a Rorschach ink blot? How does that make you feel?
I guess it is still possible there is another queen that I just missed, but I looked pretty carefully. Someone is at least laying well.
I’ll check again next week but there were no more supersedure cells in the making so it looks like the hive decided they were happy with Ramona after all.
After last week’s speculation on whether or not Ramona’s hive was building a supersedure cell, there is no doubt whatsoever what the picture below is.
Interestingly enough, I found Ramona on the next frame over on a good section of capped brood.
I did observe while Ramona was walking around on the frame that her front right leg appears damaged so she only has 5 functioning legs. I’m not sure if she came like this or had an accident during the installation. In either case, I’m just going to let things play out. She is still able to lay as I saw plenty of eggs on frames so we’ll see what happens.
I performed a quick check on the top feeder in Ramona’s hive. The girls had sucked it dry so I filled it up again. I really meant to visit on Wednesday, but work unfortunately got in the way. This should see them through the weekend when I’ll check to see that Ramona has been released from the queen cage.
Filed under equipment, food