Yes, I'm a bad blogger. Yes, I've been busy. Plus I was hoping to post some pictures with these updates, and that just isn't going to happen yet. Here's some drafts I recorded earlier this summer . . .
Sarah and Jason helped Mr. HPL and I do hive checks last weekend. After the incident with Queen Elena's hive, I'd lost a bit of confidence. On went the gloves and veil.
Overall, it was pretty good news. There was capped brood in both Queen Elena's and Queen Fiona's colonies. We spotted both the queens, and there was nectar and pollen in both hives. Looks like the direct release of the queens didn't have any issues. Yeah!
The one spot of bad news was with the swarm hive, Queen Dulce. We saw bees bringing in pollen, but no brood, and didn't spot the queen. She's had plenty of time to be laying, so my worry is that they didn't get the queen when they captured the swarm. One possibility is that it was a secondary swarm with a virgin queen, and she's needed time to be mated before she starts laying. However, we didn't spot any eggs or larvae either. Another possibility is that the queen was injured during the swarm capture and install. In this case they would try to make a new queen. There were a few queen cups, which aren't unusual, but they were all empty. Again, they need the queen to lay eggs in order to make a new queen. I'm stumped. I'll give them this week, but if I don't find any brood this weekend I'll have to take action. Not sure what that will be yet . . .
I still need to check the hive I placed in Rustic Hills, but I've got a good feeling about that. Stay tuned.