June 15, 2016
Opening the beehives today proved to bring positive feedback from the hives, discovering all three hives have queens and are viable to produce this year. Ralph had introduced a caged queen into one of the hives that was queenless. This queen came in a small cage with a candy like paste seal, which he placed inside the hive. The worker bees had to eat the candy paste in order to release the queen so it can start laying eggs. It is important to make sure your hive is not queenless for long, otherwise your hive is in danger of developing a laying worker—a worker bee that develops the ability to lay eggs. Although this may sound like it could lead to positive outcomes, it will not. These eggs are infertile, with half the number of chromosomes, and will develop into drones. You can diagnose a laying worker if you discover multiple eggs in one cell or laid on the side of the cell rather than the bottom like a queen would lay. According to experts, the easiest way to remove the laying worker is too dump out all the bees onto the ground and move the hive a few feet away. The eggs of the laying worker will weigh it down, preventing it from flying and returning to the hive.
Two out of the three hives looked healthy and normal. However, the last hive we checked, the queen had an abnormal brood pattern. The best way to describe it is a nectar-pollen sandwich. The queen laid her brood. Then there was a layer of nectar and pollen. Then some more brood. This makes the frame look weird and almost unpleasant. Unfortunately, when I looked up possible causes, I didn’t come across any answers to why this occurred.
Because the other two hives looked like they were in great shape, we put honey supers on two of the three hives so the bees could start working on making honey on the supers. I’m excited to see how the bees continue to work and what the hives grow to look like as the summer continues.