I was dreading going back in for the inspection once we got home from vacation. I imagined all the worst case scenarios (which I’ll be honest, aren’t that bad) and just didn’t want to face the possibility of ….. well not knowing I guess. But we suited up first thing in the morning so as to beat the heat and inevitable winds that were forecasted and dove right in.
First thing I noticed was how absolutely gentle the bees were. I’ve always been told that when a hive goes queenless they become aggressive in protecting their hive. Now, in all fairness, even when I had no doubt that she was gone the girls were docile as ever. But this seemed a little different.
We went slowly through all the frames and waited to see the queen cells progress. Much to my surprise the further and further we got in to the hive I wasn’t finding any queen cells. We got to one frame that had three on it that looked to be recently evacuated. Yay! That meant I had at least one queen make it but I still didnt’ know what to expect. As we got further and further in I realized that all of the 12 cells were gone. ALL OF THEM! I was amazed to say the least. So we got through all of the frames and confirmed there were no existing queen cells and figured we would button back up and check back in a few days knowing that if she wasn’t there she was either on her mating flight or the none of them survived and who even knows where to go from there.
I put my phone down (I was recording the inspection) and started doing a closer look as we carefully put all the frames back. I was a few frames in when the wait paid off and the worry drifted away……WE HAVE A NEW QUEEN! I was floored to find this beauty running about a frame. Now, she is still a virgin queen and hasn’t made her mating flight just yet but she is there and she is beautiful!
Now the next step of waiting commences. This lovely lady has 14 days to successfully go on and return from her mating flight. We will let these babes be for a couple weeks before going back in to see how all is progressing but I’m one proud bee momma today!