Sunday, April 29, 2007

Missing a queen

The queen has abdicated. Our beekeeper guru saw a swarm last Sunday from Hive C (as in Avenue); swarming is when a great pile of bees abandon the hive with a queen, or a new queen, and go searching for a new home. Today there was no sign of her (either her actual presence, or evidence of larva and brood). So the garden will be ordering another one; she should arrive in a couple of days. Hive D looks good, though, with some larva and brood in place, the queen moving about. She’s bigger than her workers, with a longer abdomen, but mostly she’s marked with a colored dot applied by the supplier.

I donned suit and pulled up a frame to examine Hive D. Larva are tiny white-turd looking things deep in the hexagons. Brood look more like pearl barley inside the comb. Very, very cool. I got into this because I’m fascinated, love the taste of raw honey, and was pretty much afraid of bees for a long time. They were all over me today.

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