Queens in the Hood

Yesterday was one of those look deeply into the hives kind of days. No rain or wind and only a few clouds to block full sun. First good day for weeks as cooler than normal weather and lots of rain has been the norm. My hives are about two weeks behind normal schedule. Even dandelions are behind.

Most hives and nucs are doing well with several frames of capped brood, uncapped larva, eggs as expected and solid bee cover. Pollen is in good supply and nectar is being stored. This spring is looking reasonably good considering the difficult weather.

I have several hives with standard queen issues. One nuc has a queen that is starting to lay drone brood in the typical pattern showing she was poorly mated. She is a newly purchased queen in a strong nuc so a “smash and replace” is her future. I made nucs several weeks early than normal because I hoped to get a jump on  production. I guess a few poorly mated queens is the price one pays!

A different hive has a queen that has not ramped up egg production so she may suffer the same fate. I moved a few frames of brood out of the very strong hives into a few weaker hives boosting the weak and maybe helping to control swarming.

Next up is to watch for swarm cells. Time to make more nucs!