Beemused: A Blog

Day 10: Looking for Brood

21st May 2007

Day 10: Looking for Brood

posted in Our Hives |

This evening we went into all 3 hives and looked for brood… and did not find it. But we’re optimistic anyway.

Now, I know that eggs are very hard to see on light-colored foundation, even for experienced beekeepers. And the cold weather this weekend probably slowed the girls down.

Still- it was a bit discouraging not to see any signs that the queens were alive and well and laying. Not really unexpected, but discouraging nonetheless. We’ll check things out again next weekend, and hope to see more direct proof of viable queens then.

Meanwhile- we are guardedly optimistic. For one thing, I think it is highly unlikely that we have managed to kill all 3 queens, so the fact that all 3 hives are looking very similar is promising. The girls in each hive seem to be very focused on one or 2 frames, which indicates that there is a queen (even though we didn’t spot her). Also: all 3 hives were very mellow about our messing; hives without a queen are reputed to be far touchier and more irritable. Susan was a bit stroppier than Mary and Eliz., but not even close to aggressive; despite our pulling of frames and examining them, we hardly got buzzed at all, and the hives were not even close to an angry buzzing sound. And we didn’t smoke any of them though I did spray sugar syrup rather generously.

Checking for broodChecking for brood
This is one of the frames we saw today when we were checking for brood. We did not find brood per se; on the other hand, I know that it is very hard to see eggs on a light-colored foundation, and the cold weather this weekend probably slowed things down. Here you can see a lot of comb the girls have drawn out and filled- mostly with sugar syrup, and the darker cells are filled with pollen or pollen-substitute. At least 2 of the frames in each hive were far more populated than this one, so even though we’ve seen no direct proof of a viable queen thus far, we are optimistic. And the girls are very mellow even when messed with- thank goodness!

-Amanda

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This entry was posted on Monday, May 21st, 2007 at 7:54 pm and is filed under Our Hives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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