Saturday, May 29, 2010

more bee work

Today I swapped positions of the large hive and the split that I made last Sunday.  The point of this is that all the foragers that are out at the time will come back to the same position that they came from.  This will increase the foraging force of the split and lessen the foragers in the big one. 

here's the bee math page from michael bush:

Caste Hatch Cap Emerge

Queen 3½ days 8 days +-1 16 days +-1 Laying 28 days +-5

Worker 3½ days 9 days +-1 20 days +-1 Foraging 42 days +-7

Drone 3½ days 10 days +-1 24 days +-1 Flying to DCA 38 days +-5

In the split from last week, I saw a capped queen cell, lots and lots of capped brood, and even some open brood.   I guess the brood must have been from eggs laid while it was still in the old hive.  They had a good amount of bees taking care of everything.  I didn't see any eggs or young brood, but I may just be too blind for that :)

In the big hive, I also found some open brood, and capped brood.  The open brood had some youngish ones, so that makes me think they have a queen.  Plus they were pretty docile and ignored me till the very end...  I didn't look completely through the middle deep once I found some open brood since I didn't want to disturb them that much.  All the empty frames I put in last week were almost completely drawn with fresh white wax.  Amazing!!!  Sorry no pictures.  It was too hot to dilly dally.

So, if I really want to make sure they both have good queens after this, I should wait to make sure that they have brood that came from eggs after the split.  The eggs laid on the day of the split (last Sunday) will all emerge from their cells in about 20 days.  So, I'll check back on both in 2 more weeks, to see if there's any new brood.  Or, if I want to wait for the queen in that capped queen cell, i should check back in 3 weeks.  She should be laying by then. 

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