Garden Geekery

Mean Girls

The ladies were mean last night. My husband was helping me move the heaviest boxes around on the hives (Note: see previous post. I’ll be moving to all medium boxes next year so I can handle them!). He got one sting from the first hive–not a big deal. But when we moved to the second one, he ended up with seven more! Granted, he was in shorts and a t-shirt, but I’ve worked them before like that and not gotten any stings. Not sure what had them so riled up tonight. I got two stings myself through my pants. It was later in the day than usual, so more of the foragers may have been back, but I really don’t know. Another beekeeper told me it’s possible they’re getting raided at night by a skunk or something, so I’m going to move my trail cam over there to see what goes on at night. Hopefully this doesn’t end up being their regular temperament. If so, they may be getting a new queen next year–hopefully one that raises gentler bees!

On a good note, I did notice new larvae in that hive, so the queen is laying again. This is the one that seemed close to swarming but never did, though the queen had stopped laying. I didn’t check the other one for eggs this time. I’ve gotten some advice to wait just a bit longer to see if that hive has successfully raised a new queen, so we’ll see what happens with them.

What I did do on each hive is put the medium box in between the two deep boxes that are full of honey. Apparently queens don’t like to cross a huge amount of honey to lay eggs, so this puts the deep box of honey on top and will give her open space to lay in the medium super. That’s really supposed to be for honey and the deep for brood, but I’m not sure I have a better option at this point. I’m probably totally screwing things up, but I suppose that’s one way to learn…

One thought on “Mean Girls

  1. Brian

    Well Amy, it sounds like you are doing all the right things. Fortunately, also being new to the bee world, I haven’t experienced these problems. However, I did have to put a super between two deeps because during an inspection I found them to be honey bound.

    You probably have it, but just in case I will tell you that a great book that has helped me is Dianne Sammatarro. This book covers A-Z about bees and the current edition is #4.

    Good luck and keep the postings coming, I enjoy reading abut what you are doing.
    Brian (CMBA and SABA)

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