As sad as I was to do it, I liberated myself of a couple obligations this week. Sometimes, even though I care SO MUCH about SO MANY different things, you just have to take a step back and make sure you still have time to do the things you enjoy for yourself, ya know? One of those things is beekeeping. I just adore these honey bees, no matter how many times they sting me. ;)
Sunday, Wheat and I opened up our hives to check on the girls. We didn’t find what we expected to find, exactly, either. Our strong hive, the Killer Millers, which we expected to split this spring, we found was weak. So weak. They had tons of new honey and comb (pictured above), but so few bees. The mean old queen was still there though, which was odd. When a hive swarms, they normally take the old queen with them and leave the new queen (or sometimes, no queen at all). So the only thing I can figure (because so few bees did not make all that honey) is that the hive already swarmed (which is CRAZY) and they took the new queen with them. Le sigh. You never know what those bees are gonna do!
My “sweet bees,” our original bee capture, were stronger than EVER! I’m telling you, bees and honey everywhere! We spotted this queen, too, and she was just laying away. A bottom box in our double deep (meaning two deep hive boxes without a queen excluder) was chock full of brood. We even spotted a lot of drones! So if we don’t do something, this hive will swarm pretty soon, too. We even found a few in progress queen cups we nipped off.
In these pictures, you can see the white, freshly capped honey. Fresh wax is pale and light, almost white.
Just looking at these pictures again makes me so, so happy. I can’t wait for Spring!
Bees on bees on bees. :)
Now for a quick game of (unmarked) Queen Spotting:
Can you find her?
Did you spot her? She’s right above the word “spot!” I didn’t exactly manage to center her in the picture. The sun was so bright I had trouble seeing my phone screen. She’s a champ!
Then we spotted our marked, mean old biddy of a queen in the Killer Miller hive. She’s been laying a little, but she’s got her work cut out for her.
We plan to harvest honey as soon as it warms up, give the sweet bees some room to expand without swarming and take away some space from the Killer Millers. I love that just when you think you understand the bees, they show you that you don’t actually know much at all! Kinda sounds like life.
I hope everyone has a very happy Valentines’ Day weekend! I’m helping throw my little sister a baby shower tomorrow (that sounds crazy even saying it), then retiring to a steak and a bottle of red at home with my very patient, kind, lovable husband. We are seeing one of my all-time favorite bands, MoFro, with friends on Sunday, and I plan to relax with a day off on Monday. Cheers to a wonderful weekend, friends, and don’t forget to hug the ones you love!