Thursday, April 13, 2006

Bee check!

This morning it was time for our bees' one-week checkup. By now, they should have freed and bonded to their queens*, and they should have started to use the little wax-secreting cells on their bellies to build cells on the foundations.

Our hives are A-OK on both counts, although I would rate Hive 2 as excellent and Hive 1 as merely satisfactory. There's no knowing why #1 is not thriving as much. Its bees have been consuming more sugar syrup even though there are fewer of them. I'd say they may have gotten hit harder by the storm because they're nearer to the edge of the woods, but that's pure speculation.

Anyway, it looks as though we're in good shape so far.

* The queens are shipped in teeny little cages with plugs made of candy that the workers are supposed to chew their way through. It takes them two to five days to do it. This gives the bees time to get comfortable and established in their new home because it prevents the queen from immediately deciding to lead the colony to another location.