Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Again we have been lax with our bees and when we checked them we found 5 queen cells scattered about a couple of frames, the bees were getting quite anxious because of the weather so it had to be another quick check. We couldn't see the queen but there were larvae and eggs so we were confident that there was a queen in there.
Upon reading the bee books (unfortunately the bees don't also read) we find that it is likely to be a supersedure rather than another swarm. A supersedure is when the current Queen isn't performing as the bees would like so they decide to replace her and produce another Queen. The two Queens can actually live side by side for a while before the older Queen is either kicked out or balled and killed.
It is very late in the season to swarm and even with a supersedure it is cutting it fine for the young virgin queen to get mated and successfully take over so we are cautious. We both agree to leave it a week and let the bees deal with it. If it is the case of a new queen taking over then the advise would be to leave them to it anyway.
Meanwhile in the world away from bees we have had our own supersedure.
Naomi Lily was born on 28th August weighing 7lb 2oz and has taken up most of our time although we are aware that we really need to check the bees have a Queen and take off the supers before winter. It is too much for the bees to keep the hive warm with them on and we want the honey.
We haven't been informed of a swarm so fingers and toes crossed all is well in the hive.