Monday, February 16, 2009
Second Full Inspection
We opened up the bee hive yesterday to look to see how our airport bees have progressed. I first noticed that the top feeder was close to being empty. The remaining sugar water had turned to a thick sugar mixture with little water remaining. The greasy patty was 90% consumed so I will need to put another patty on top of the brood frames.
When removing the frames there had not been a visible increase in spaced used by the colony, still only about four frames front and back. I removed the first two outer frames from the left side, both were empty. The next frame in was started with honey storage on the top section of the frame. I pulled out the next three frames to find them packed with bees and a full structure of comb. The brood size was less than expected.
If you look closely on the picture below you can see white larve within the open cells in the center of the comb.
This is were my inexperience makes explanations murky. We were unable to find the queen within the main frames. What we did find was three queen brood cells, which have me concerned. Could this be a Supersedure!? For people who don't know what that is: "Supersedure- a natural or emergency replacement of an established queen by a daughter in the same hive." Should I be worried-it is mid February and my hive may not have a queen? Are there drone bees present all year round or only in the summer months? Below is a blown up picture of a queen cell.
If anyone has seen these patterns before and can make some sense of it for me, I would appreciate it.