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They just don't read the books!

I checked the hives on June 15, 2024. The long blue hive looked empty. I had expected to find that because I saw little to no activity on the hive. Apparently the queen that was in there just didn't make it, and everyone left. The little vertical hive did have about three frames covered and seemed happy. I found a queen and some capped worker brood. It had only been a month since the field day when they still had not produced a viable queen, so I think it was doing well for its time schedule. I was afraid the long tan hive (pictured above) had swarmed. There was a lot less activity on it then there had been. I have always worried about it, it was a large swarm when I captured it, and it remained a very strong hive no matter how many frames of brood I removed. When I opened it, my suspicions were confirmed. There was no queen. There was a little bit of brood that looked abandoned, even larva that seemed to be drying out in their cells. Most of the honey was gone, no surprise. There did not seem to be any evidence that they had attempted to make a new queen. There may have been the remains of a queen cell, and it is slightly possible that a virgin queen was out and about on her mating flight, I am not sure. To be sure, I made room in the front and moved the queen and the bees from the vertical hive into the tan hive, in essence installing a nuc. I left the empty vertical hive as it was, filling up empty space with frames taken from the long tan hive. I rearranged honey frames for optimum honey production if the hive decided to accept the queen and get going.

Since that time, I have observed a large number of bees apparently robbing out the blue long hive. I thought they were from the tan hive, I hope they were. In the last week I have observed similar activity on the long tan hive. I hope it isn't just being robbed by robber bees. I haven't had time to inspect it yet. If so, I am sunk for this year in spite of a promising start. If they hive got going it could be honey flow - which it should be based on flower bloom. But, I did not see pollen going in and the bees seemed more like they were taking out, not bringing in. I won't be able to tell until I can inspect the hive. I have seen trucks full of hives going down my road from the commercial beekeeper. I know they must be nearby because no one uses our road for a through road. I really had hoped this would be the turnaround year, but I guess I will find out when I inspect the hives.


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