Outyard Packages Update

Over the weekend we made a trip to the outyard to check on the two hives that started as packages this spring.

A few weeks ago when I checked on them I reported that one of the hives (the strongest of the two) was creating superceedure cells even though they had a brand new queen as part of the purchased package.

At the time I didn't know what to do so I closed them up and left them.

We've checked them since, but I've failed to blog about what we saw. Sorry about that!

A week after creating the superceedure cells complete with larva and royal jelly, the bees removed the larva and tore down the cells. I was careful not to damage the cells, touch them or otherwise disturb them, and I was very careful to lower the frames back into the hive so they didn't get bumped.

The bees decided to abort the superceedure process they had going on multiple frames all on their own.

All I can say is "Boy I'm glad they did" because the queen they have is awesome. She's laying eggs in every available cell. You can't see them in this photo, but there are eggs in the outermost cells of the frames all the way up to the side bars and even down in the lower corners of the frames which are usually left abandoned, filled with honey or chewed away for communication holes.

Last week we counted brood on at least 13 frames.

I suppose when the package was put together at the suppliers and we shook them into their new hive the queen wasn't able to disperse her scent throughout the hive quickly enough before the bees decided they needed a new queen.

The other hive at the outyard is doing good also, although their population is still noticeably smaller since a good percent left this package and joined the other hive the day we installed them.

Their queen is producing a good brood pattern and they are still taking sugar syrup. They have only 1.5 more brood frames to draw out.

While I was there I snapped this picture of some bees on a landing board fanning. I'm guessing since they're a well established hive they weren't fanning to help new bees locate the hive, instead I'm thinking they were bringing in fresh air into the hive to help cure nectar.

Here's a picture of how we left the outyard hives. The hive on the right is the stronger of the two and now have a super on them. We're experimenting with this hive to see how a queen excluder does or doesn't reduce honey production.

Update: 7/3/2014
My brother Thomas is keeping bees near Lancaster MO. Two of the packages we picked up earlier this spring were for him.

He sent me a picture of how his bees are doing, and by the brood pattern in the picture, I'd say he's got a great queen!

Comments For This Post: (1) | Post Your Comments! Hide The Comment Form
Tim says...
Date:   July 4, 2014, 1:10 am

That is a heap of brood your brothers hive has, a good layer there. Your outyard ones seem to going good as well.

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