I, err, cough, chopped some queen cells down before finding the queen. Then I looked back and could not find eggs. OK you caught me doing something stupid and now I think it is queenless.
BUT, I have a plan. I have a much nicer queen that I am going to graft eggs from onto a cell raising bar and do a bit of ‘very early’ queen raising. The drones in cells just now should be up and mature by the time she is ready to need them.
In May I am doing a talk on Queen rearing and by then I hopefully will have something to show for this.
Although I hadn’t planned to start myself until about then, conditions are such that I should in this case and we seem also to be having a very early spring in terms of other colonies building up.
Why didn’t I just put a frame of brood from an adjacent hive in? Well we have three reasons there :
- On that site the queenless colony is the only live commercial hive I have on that site, the others are 14×12 national hives. Yes keeping bees on different sized frames is not a good idea, but I have my reasons.
- At this time in spring the other colonies only have a few frames of brood so removing a frame will severely set them back.
- If it all goes pear shaped I can do something else, but in the mean time – Plan B is to move the hive to another site where I can swap frames.