I got a really special treat in the mail a few weeks ago (sorry, we’ve been on vacation). Grandpa (the same one who sketched the hive in the corner of this blog) has been scanning old slides in and came across some that include pictures from his hives. This one is the best. My little 6-year-old Dad is helping with the smoker. Look at his boots! So cute. Fast forward almost 50 years and he’s STILL helping with the bees but this time it’s a bit more skilled labor: he has built me a honey extractor which I will be picking up this weekend! More details on that to come.
And in case you were wondering the queen drama has been resolved. Wiser FL beekeeper Johnnie Beshearse says:
On your queen confusion. It is possible and likely that you missed seeing a supersedure cell. If your original queen (Tamar) was a poor layer they probably superseded her. Normally on supersedures, the new cell will hatch out BEFORE the old queen is deposed. Otherwise they run the risk of not being successful at raising a new queen (no second chance). Once the new queen emerges and mates, then she will kill the original queen.
What does this mean? Your new queen was not an egg the first of August, but before then. You simply missed the supersedure cell (they are not like swarm cells and abundant, normally only one or two located in the center parts of the frames, not the bottoms.
Yeah. I didn’t know they let the old queen live while the new queen mates. That changes EVERYTHING. Guess I’m in the market for another new queen name.