After two days of allowing the hive to “do it’s thing” and a quick trip to Calgary to deposit children at Laura’s, I was up today to check on our new hive in West Trail.
What I found today was our hive settled in for the night. I knocked and got a wonderful buzzing sound back. Ah! Music to my ears. From the sounds of it, it appears my “relocating” of the wild hive was successful.
Up the ladder I go to check to see if the hollow was full of bees or if that was indeed empty of its recent tenants and ready for repair.
This is what I saw…..
Now looking in the hollow, I was somewhat excited to see only a few worker bees compared to the mass there could of been. I was also disappointed that I wasn’t successful in moving the entire hive to the Langstroth deep just a few feet away. This was, after all, my first actual swarm. Even the most experienced beekeepers aren’t successful in moving a survivor hive from a clearly established home. I am a first year beekeeper, still learning my trade, and I think I did pretty darn good.
From the looks of the hollow, it appears as the the split is trying to convert larval worker cell into a queen cell. The remaining hive is attempting to re-queen. This means they are drawing out a worker cell so that it can be raised with royal jelly to become a virgin queen.
The oblong downward facing cell is the queen cell.
Photo Credit: Google
You will see in the above chart, drawing out the queen cell takes time. Even if there was larva available for the workers to draw out, she would need until day 16 before she would emerge as a virgin queen. A further two weeks for the queen to be mated and be ready to lay.
With all of this in mind, what do we do? After a quick call to Axel to discuss my success and my theories, we have decided that it would be best if he came out with the Bee-Vac and help me relocate the stubborn part of the new hive. We both agreed its unlikely they have re-queened in this amount of time and be ready for winter that is fast approaching. So its time to reunite the family and move forward.
More on this tomorrow when I peek inside of the hive and the hollow with Axel