It’s HOT in Texas right now and there is trouble brewing in one of our two top bar bee hives!
This morning Andrew and I went out for our weekly check.
We have two top bar bee hives. Both were started with bee packages this spring from a bee breeder in South Texas. Our number two hive is doing really well. We found the queen, she’s laying well in a good pattern and they’re making LOTS OF HONEY! 🙂 They’re also a mean hive. They stung my iphone at least 4 times. I think they take issue with my pink cover. I found their stingers just hanging from it! This hive is always out for blood. They’re ready to sting whenever we just walk by. However, our second hive is in trouble.
This morning noticed right away that they’re weren’t as many bees at the entrance. They were very docile and scattered. And the biggest sign of trouble is that we found at least a dozen swarm cells cells on the frames! They look like peanuts hanging off the side. From what we’ve read, we think they’re swarm cells. Not emergency or supercedure cells.
We couldn’t find our origional queen, so our best guess is that the queen died or is not fertile or laying well. We noticed some scattered capped brood (baby bees growing in the wax) and capped drone cells (male bees that don’t do much except mate with the queen on her flight). All of which are bad signs.
We are confused and not sure what to do. But, we do know that those swarm cells shouldn’t be there our first year! Well, at least that is what we were told! Here are some pictures of the troubled hive. If you have any ideas for us on what to do… let me know! 🙂
Picture 1: This is a pic of what you don’t want to see. Take a look at the left side. The supersedure swarm cell looks like a little peanut hanging down. We have about 12 of these swarm cells, all of them are hanging off the sides.
Picture2: Bad sign… scattered drone brood in worker cells! See those capped cells that are sticking out like little golf balls? Those are drone cells… bad! Our colony is in trouble. Maybe it’s a laying worker or a drone-laying queen?
Picture 3: One of the bars in the trouble hived… I’m not sure. I think we have a drone-laying queen.
Picture 4: Another interesting observation was that there were a few different/weird looking bees. Notice that been in the middle in the below picture. She looks a LOT different than all of the other bees. Any ideas?
Well, we’re pouring over our books and looking ever where online to decide how we should proceed. I guess the good part is that they troubled hive is raising new queens… please post if you have any ideas for us!