Monday, March 31, 2008

Hive #1 Inspection

I mostly wanted to check on the progress of the supper. WOW!!!!!!!!! Natural honey comb is rather gorgeous. Good progress has been made on the 3 middle frames. One is fully drawn and full, the other two look like this one. It is a long way to go before the 1st honey harvest of the year; to be honest I was a little disappointed. I had envisioned ¾ of the supper to be drawn out. I would say is more like just a ¼.

I decided to remove the supper and inspect the top medium brood box. Just to make sure that all is going well. I pulled a couple of frames and found a nice laying pattern. Remember, the pictures below are of medium frames. They sit above a deep brood box, 3 frames from the deep came out two weeks ago to make my NUC.
The shocker and somewhat puzzling find was a single empty supercedure cell. I’m 100% sure it was not there 2 weeks ago when Mike and I split the hive. (Queen cell on middle right)
Close up of queen cell from picture above
Why is it there??? Is the queen hurt? Or failing?? If she is you would never guess it from the laying patterns. Another theory would be the hive is still preparing to swarm, in that case is a swarm cell. Or they were getting ready to swarm, I split the hive and the hive stopped plans to swarm.

Queen Cell was not there two weeks ago (exactly 15 days) when I split the hive.
It takes a queen 16 days to emerge out of a queen cell, plus maybe a day or two to build the Queen cell.

It has to be a new never used queen cell.

Inspect next week, if the cell has been capped then maybe split again, create a mini NUC this time (5 medium frames), allow queen to emerge and start a new hive..

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