Happiness! My large colony, Rosemarinus, that produced a swarm on 24 March 2016 is now queenright.
Finally, a day with conditions that didn’t make opening the hive to do a major inspection of the colony traumatic for either the ladies of the hive or for me! It was just a bit cooler than I would have liked–the temperature 70 degrees Fahrenheit, with a bit of wind–about 5 mph. The local weather report was cooler than that but the hive was in a sunny location and I decided that I really needed to know if the colony had successfully reared a queen. So I opened the hive today and took a good look inside.
Although I didn’t lay eyes on the queen, it was obvious that she was in there somewhere doing her thing. There was lots of brood in an excellent pattern. There was brood in all stages, but what seemed alike an incredible amount of capped brood.
Though the population was down from the last time I opened the hive, I suppose that is to be expected after the queenless period. Even so, it seems to be a good strong hive with lots of bees. I’m not experienced enough to tell if the population decrease it what would be expected under those circumstances or if there was a small secondary swarm. What I do know is that the colony is now queenright.
The girls weren’t making much headway on the comb honey super that I put on the hive yet. I moved it down on the hive and placed the super full of capped honey on to. That was an experience–hefting that full super up to shoulder height! It makes me think more seriously that the next hive will be a horizontal Langstroth with the kind of set up that allows honey supers to be put on top. I now know just how heavy an 8-frame honey-fill super really is. Not complaining, just observing.
I’ve now had my third beesting (note only my third) since I started working with the bees at the end of July last year. I’m still not wearing gloves to work the hive. Every sting that I’ve had has been because I’ve managed to put my finger down on a bee. I still think I’ve lucked out and gotten some good genetics in this colony again.
Yes, I’m happy! Rosemarinus has a queen–even though I haven’t actually seen her, and she is not marked. That’s for next inspection.