Here is a quick summary of what has happened since:
Doing OK but not strong. Had some queen drama where I found no brood in the hive during an inspection on 7/24 and found capped queen cells in White Hive. I transferred the capped queen cells to the Green Hive and after looking through the photos I took during the inspection I spotted that there was a queen in Green Hive after all!!! So either the queen in Green Hive was a virgin or not laying eggs for some other reason.
Strong compared to Green Hive for sure. This hive may have swarmed since I spotted all the capped and uncapped queen cells. Usually they build swarm cells along the bottom of the comb so this does follow that pattern. If they did swarm then about half of this colony is hopefully living in a cozy tree somewhere!
|Lots of capped Drone brood and a few queen cells|
The top box had about 4 totally empty frames. It is too late in the year now for the bees to have enough incoming nectar to make wax. So they will stay empty for the rest of this year. There was one frame of solid honey and the rest of the frames had a mixture of honey, nectar and bee bread.
What the heck is bee bread you ask? When bees bring the pollen back to the hive, another worker bee packs the pollen into a cell and adds some honey or nectar and enzymes to it. This causes some fermentation to occur and breaks the pollen down into a more consumable form for the bees.
|Lots of maroon colored bee bread on this frame|
This bee bread is the primary source of food for developing brood. Since this hive doesn't have any brood, they have a lot of bee bread stored.
The bottom box has only two empty frames and most of the remaining frames are packed full of bee bread or honey with very few empty cells.
|Solid frame of honey|
The bottom line for Green Hive is that they appear hopelessly queenless. This late in the year there is really no possibility of buying a replacement queen. I did check around online and every place I looked is sold out (and probably were sold out months ago). Also, there is no hope of the bees having enough time to raise their own queen if I donated some eggs from White Hive. It would take at least 16 days for a new queen to hatch. By then it would be the middle of October and there would be no drones for her to mate with. Matter of fact, during my inspection, I witnessed numerous drones being dragged out of the hive by their loving sisters. I think the only option I have now is to combine this hive with White Hive (Newspaper Combine). After I do that my remaining hive will go into Winter with FOUR deeps of food and bees. No matter how bad the upcoming Winter is, that should be plenty to get them through it.
Even with the possibility that this hive swarmed earlier, it is still a strong hive. They have managed to fill about half of a honey super. Not great but better than nothing. I plan to take this honey off when I combine Green Hive with this one. I might be able to get 1 gallon of honey from this box.
I'm planning on doing the combine, removing the honey and doing a mite sampling tonight. If I have enough time I'll extract the honey this weekend. The next blog post will be up shortly!
As always, thanks for reading!