Swarm Cells Every Darn Time I Turn Around

Gosh darn crazy bees are driving me nuts.

I decided to begin my transition from 10-frame deep and shallow boxes to all 8-frame mediums, and I began the process today. I added a new smaller box to each of my three hives. Now they look a little bit lopsided and goofy, but transitions are tough, I tell you.

Anyway, as I was checking things out in the hives, I discovered a number of queen cells in Tomboys (yes, I should have taken a picture for you, but I forgot again). Crap. Which means I need to make a split of that hive or risk losing half its bees to the woods. But I’ve never split a hive before. I swear, I always have to do these things before I’m prepared…I haven’t though this situation out yet. Oh well. What do I have to lose, Reader, but a bunch of bees?

I’d better do it tomorrow or risk their swarming while I’m out of town.

So, as I understand it, to make a split I need to separate my current two deep brood boxes and create two separate hives from them…one hive will contain the queen cells, and the other hive (hopefully) contains the current queen. If something should happen to the queen or the queen cells as I’m making this split, the bees will probably rear another queen…so long as there are eggs and/or uncapped larvae in some of the frames.

I guess that’s my job for tomorrow. Split Tomboys into two hives and add another 8-frame medium super to one of the newly created colonies so they have room to grow. Before I know it, I’m gonna have yard full of beehives. Deb’s gonna kill me. She’s already very very worried about driving to the farm with one or two bee colonies in the back of the car.

Why Does Everyone Tell Me, "Patience, Grasshopper?"

Reader, I know I got your hopes up for some honey. But I think our hopes may have flown off with the Amazon swarm.

Yesterday’s inspection shows that all honey production has ground to a halt in Amazons. Because they swarmed, the remaining Amazons aren’t drawing comb or storing honey until their new queen gets busy…and that’ll take a month or so. And by the time she gets busy, there won’t be much blooming. All of this is to say that we won’t get more honey this spring. Who knows about the fall…there’s often a fall honey flow, but not always. We didn’t have one last year.

Though Tomboys and Girls of Summer remain very healthy and very active, they aren’t drawing comb or storing honey in the honey supers. They’re loaded with brood about to be born, though, so if there’s a good fall honey flow, we may get some honey from them. In a few months. This is killing me.

To keep my mind off this disappointment, I think I’ll consider experimenting a little bit. I think I’ll try to take two frames of brood and a frame or two of honey from the deep brood boxes (I haven’t decided which combination of colonies to take this from) and form a new colony. That should be fun, and I’m sure to learn new stuff.

Here are Jay and Jackie who visited the hives with me yesterday. I rewarded their interest with a 5 oz. jar of honey. I hope they treasure it. I’m not giving any more to anyone until I harvest more. And that’s not looking great.