As I’ve mentioned, my hope is to split my hive into two hives this season. After I opened up the hive and realized the bees made it I let them be for a few weeks as the temperature dropped and it was cold overnight. Fast forward to May 14th and as I’m checking on the hive I quickly realize that there is no brood. No eggs. No sign of queen activity anywhere. It was a huge bummer! I was really excited to see my bees make it through the winter and now there was no queen to keep them thriving. No activity means it’s time to call my bee guy.
My bee guy is John Hill at HillCo Beekeeping. He’s been very helpful as I’ve started this hobby and he always has what I need. A couple text messages later and I had 2 queens waiting for me that next Monday. Unfortunately that Monday was cool, cloudy and rainy and it didn’t look like it was going to change anytime soon. I needed to get these queens into their hives, so I went ahead and gave it a shot. Looking back, it may have been a huge mistake.
As soon as I opened the main hive to grab frames and split them out for a new hive I started getting stung. A lot. As quickly as possible I moved 5 frames of honey, pollen and bees over to a new hive I had setup, placed a queen cage in it and closed it up. I place a queen cage in my original hive as well, layed it on the top of the bottom box of frames with no frame above it. Bees were covering both cages so I felt confident that they were going to accept them.
Now, as to why I was getting destroyed by guard bees. I did a little reading afterwards and found out that a queenless hive will potentially be agitated. Rainy weather will cause more bees to be in the hive and be more defensive. All things I’m learning as I travel this journey.
Fast forward and HiveA has accepted their queen and she has started laying. There is capped brood and the bees are much more calm. HiveB did not chew through the candy plug and I had to release the queen after a little while. I’m checking again this weekend to see if she is laying.