I wanted steal a clever phrase from an Instagram photo and caption a picture of bee eggs with “Easter Eggs.” Unfortunately, though we saw a gratifying amount of capped brood and larvae, I didn’t get any photos of eggs.
And yet, I bring good tidings from our hive check.
Last time we saw the queen, she seemed apathetic and slow-moving, but today Her Royal Blueness was back to scurrying around the hive like she owns the place. (I was waiting for spell-check to change that to “palace,” but it never chimes in when you want it to.)
Also, there were more bees, many of them clearly young and very fuzzy (as you can see in the above picture).
I love how they look up at us from between the frames.
And lastly, there was a major increase in capped brood and larvae.
The only bad news was we also spotted some beetle larvae in a pollen patty we removed. Time to order the nematodes and quit supplementing with patties now the real stuff is coming in. We have two traps in each box, which helps, but the nematodes help break the life cycle of the beetles, preventing the larvae from developing.
To replace the hives that didn’t make it through the winter, we’ll be picking up a package of bees on Saturday from the same place we got our nuc last year — Grandpa’s Bee Farm. The man who runs this endeavor is a county bee inspector, and although the nuc didn’t survive the winter, we are trying again with his stock. We’re reasonably convinced the hives died because we weren’t able to keep up with treating them for Varroa through the winter. It was never warm enough to do so.
Also, we made the mistake of not doing a count of the nasties after we last treated them in October. If we had, we might have gone ahead and treated them again then.
We have to do better this year. It’s ridiculous to expend so much effort if we can’t do a better job of helping them survive the winter.
In other news, we’ve (I’ve) decided it’s time we change the hive name from California Girls to OH Girls since the only California girl left in the hive is the queen.
So, cheers to OH Girls. <raising my glass> 🙂