I’ve just collapsed in my chair at my desk, heaved a huge sigh of relief, mopping sweat off my face, and guzzling cold water–and thinking that I may be one of the luckiest beekeepers around.
I was planning to do a sugar roll test today. I went out to take a look at the hive and was greeted by this! It clear and warm today, but the wind is quite gusty–in fact, so gusty as to make a smoker useless. I was debating about the sugar roll when a bee landed–more like was blown onto my shoulder. That bee was immediately followed by others buzzing all around me, and following me.
With sufficient craning of my neck, I saw a blue dot! OMG! It was the queen.
I caught her in my hand carefully–made a mad dash into the house and got a quart mason jar, a ring, a paper towel, and my bee brush. I put her in the jar, went back to the hive, brushed some of that cluster of bees into the jar with her, and found her a shady spot while I opened the hive and did a sort-of split–very rapidly. I had the second hive ready, but I’d have liked to have been a little more organized about it. I pulled frames with honey and brood to put in the second hive with some empty frames with foundation, brushed up some more bees to add, and then put the queen into the new hive.
It was a bit hectic around the hive–bees everywhere so I didn’t get to do a full inspection though I did look through all four boxes (mediums). There is a closed queen cell in the big hive, though.
Too windy to use a smoker, bees getting ready to swarm, and after about an hour and a half I was only stung once (my first time). That was because I put a finger where I should not have. Tomorrow morning, I’ll put a hive top feeder on that hive–not to mention a quick trip to Bailey Bee Supply for an empty super and foundation for the #1 hive. They’ve drawn all the comb and it looks crowded in there even with those that have left.
Love my bees!