bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Surprise awaits

Returning from my break, I went to check my bees today and, as is usual, they had a surprise.

One colony appeared to be queenless way back in May, but the very small colony remained intact through the summer. Four months later it is still going and had even built some new comb -- but not an egg or larvae to be seen, not even from a drone-layer.

Today, as I was changing the floors of that hive and its neighbour, a queen appeared in an empty super. She was big (obviously mated) but moved sluggishly and didn't seem to be in the best of health. I thought perhaps she had somehow escaped from the large viable neighbour colony, so I placed her near the door of hat colony. The workers immediately “balled” her, trying to kill her.

I came to the conclusion that she was from the apparently queenless colony and for some reason wasn't laying. Perhaps she realised there were insufficient bees to support her egg-laying. Odd!



Blogger Cat said...

Some wild animals such as wolves do not mate unless conditions are favorable for their offspring, perhaps this is the case for the queen.

11:08 pm  

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