Like a proud Dad, I can announce that there are larvae in both beehives*. Absolutely, definitely this time. You can see the larvae curled up in the first photo below and you can also see some larvae that have been capped in the second photo (bottom left) … beautiful.
Like any new born, they don’t look pretty but you’ve got to think long term. In about 21 days these little grubs will reach puberty and then fly the nest (only in this case, I won’t need to fork out for tuition fees).
Having essentially ‘fathered’ these hives, I experienced intense relief, which lasted about 5 seconds, and some joy, which lasted about 3½ hours. However this joy was quickly replaced by newly developed worries; timescales I suspect most new-Dads can appreciate.
Like two small children – my hives already have distinct personalities …
Beehive A – ‘the late developer’
Now this one had me worried. I had adopted Beehive A and so I couldn’t be sure of anything and as soon as I got it, it went off the rails and swarmed. Seven weeks later, the colony has settled down in its home and despite keeping me on my toes with little evidence of a Queen, nature has come good and I’m very proud.
Beehive B – ‘the productive protégé’
These amazing bees have drawn out 9 of the 11 frames (in a 14×12 brood box). The sugar syrup I fed them has done the job. There were cells containing brood and some capped honey around the edges. Very pleased.
Of course, with both hives, come worries…and my main one is whether they will produce any honey.
Worker bees take 21 days from egg until they hatch. They then spend their first 18 days on jobs in the hive. We’re looking at the end of July before these bees start foraging but the second main nectar flow finishes about then too. Let’s hope there is some nectar and pollen for the bees to collect in August.
I also saw a moth during my “inspection” but at the time I didn’t consider it due to my usual panic. However, I am now a bit worried that it might have been a wax moth. I will look out for this next time I go in.
I need advice. Perhaps a little fatherly pep talk from more experienced beekeepers who know more than me?
- Should I remove a super from the old hive (so they can cap more of the current honey in the first super)?
- Should I add a super to the new hive or let them draw out more brood frame?
- Should I feed the new hive again due to all this poor weather?
Let me know if you know!
* I should also probably tell you that the 20 week scan my wife and I went to this week shows that we are probably going to have a baby girl. Hurrah!
Postscript: You might want to read It’s A Girl.