Been a while since I’ve posted anything and wanted to get out a little update. Been very busy working on the sequel to my fiction book “Truths Blood”. Writing is my winter time passion and as I wrap up the work associated with my bees I turn to writing.
It is also election season and while I rarely get political on this blog I cant help but mention one thing. We have a ballot measure her in Oregon that would require food products containing GMO’s to be labeled. If you’ve read my blogs you know how I feel about GMO’s and how detrimental they are to honeybees. But my comment here comes from another angle. This is a Citizen-based initiative established by people who genuinely care about and want to know what they are eating, while the opponents – largely massive conglomerates – counter with a LOT of money, tens of millions of dollars, and baseless statements that scare people into believing things that simply aren’t true.
I find it disgusting that citizens who simply want to know what’s in their food can be prevented from doing so by giant corporations spending massive sums of money. My only comment folks is that we as a nation are far too complacent about our food supply and we are foolish to think these huge conglomerates care about what we eat. It is worth your time to become more familiar with these issues.
Ok, nuff said. GMO’s are hard on bees so its difficult for me to let his issue go.
So what’s going on in the beeyard? I always make an in depth inspection of every hive, late in the year and just completed that recently. I found one hive with no queen, absolutely no brood or larva and another hive (which was a new package this season) doing the re-queening thing. If you read my earlier post about the poor quality queens coming with the packages from California you know what I’m talking about. So I ordered up two new queens to install in the problem hives.
When the queens arrived I did another complete inspection of both hives. In the one with no brood or larva I found a queen this time. The hive is stuffed full of bees and I simply over looked her the first time. She’s a big fat healthy looking queen too. So even though it seems way too early for the queen to quit laying (that usually happens in Dec/Jan) I decided to leave the queen alone figuring she knows best. This left me with an extra queen.
I requeened the other hive with queen issues and a strange hive it is. Three queen cells had hatched. (Usually the new queen chews through the side and the queens yet to hatch are stung to death by the first queen that hatches) There was also a perfectly formed and soon to hatch queen cell and on the same frame right next to it was another queen cell in the process of hatching. This hive is even raising drones, but there are no drones out and about this time of year as they are all tossed out of the hives by now and there is no way a new queen would be properly mated. I dispatched with all cells and queens and installed the queen I purchased.
What to do with extra queen. Well, what does a queen need? She needs workers and stores to make it through the winter. I went to my strong healthy hives that have lots of stores and borrowed five frames of stores to create a new hive in a nuc box. I also added many “shakes” of bees from those different hives to the new nuc to create a workforce. These bees wont be missed in their old hives as most of them will soon be dead anyway. Then I shut down the entrance to the smallest opening and installed the new queen cage. I also put on a top feeder on the nuc in hopes of keeping the new bees around with the feed. By not moving the new hive out of the beeyard the bees that leave this hive would likely return to their old hive.
I have not yet disturbed the two hives while they accept and release the new queens. There is never a guarantee that new queens added to a hive will be accepted but the best success is had by not disturbing the hives. This is a fun experiment to me. I have never even dreamed of creating a new hive this late in the season. I will update soon on the condition of these hives and let you know how things are going.
Take care, I hope all is well with everyone.