We've been furiously busy putting the finishing touches on the next issue of the magazine, so haven't had much bee time (except for the occasional stress-relieving short visit). But today we were finally able to go out to the bees.
They're doing so well.
Califia is filling her top bar hive admirably; she now has built perfect natural comb on 15 frames. We installed that package of bees a little over a month ago. It amazes me how fast they work.
After our scare over a broodless Veronica last month, we were delighted to find she now has three full frames of brood, and three more with brood, eggs, and honey. All in her top box; we hope the bottom super is just as full of baby bees.
Midge, daughter of swarmy Betty has plenty of brood, but—oh dear—she has five supercedure cells. One of those cells houses cell a small pink baby queenbee curled in a puddle of royal jelly. We're a little worried. Will Midge be overthrown by a new queen? Is Midge ailing or injured? Or are the bees just being prepared for any contingency? We left the supercedure cells, figuring the bees know what to do. They're bees, afterall.
Veronica and Midge are filling their honey supers (smaller boxes which they'll hopefully fill with honey we can harvest). We've gone out on an apiarist limb and didn't use the metal grill called a queen excluder that keeps the queen out of the honey storage area. So far they've only put honey in the honey super, and no brood. Smart bees.Footnote
Bee slippers are not typical office wear at Sunset, but today I simply had to scuffle around in my new kicks, an early birthday gift from my department ("I saw them in the store window," said Marie Pence, systems manager, "and I knew Margaret had to have them.") Thanks so much to my co-workers; I love the slippers. Kimberley is now coveting a pair of her own, and honestly, who wouldn't?