Saturday, May 29, 2010
I opened the hives today and gave each of them a sugar shower. I put regular cane sugar in a blender and pulverized it so it was a fine power. Then I opened the hives and sprinkled the sugar onto the bees. The theory here is that the bees will groom themselves vigorously and dislodge some varroa mites. I'll check my pull-out bottom boards tomorrow to see if any mites have been dislodged.
I'm a bit concerned about Artemis's queen. You'll remember that David and I saw her being carried up the outside of the Boardman feeder last weekend.
A hive with no queen is in a bit of a pickle. It can disrupt the whole organization! So, when I was showering Artemis I was looking closely to see if the queen was still there. I looked through all 20 frames once. I didn't see any queen. I looked through the bottom box again and at about mid-hive I saw what I hope is a new queen! She is mid-photo, headed down. It's hard to tell from the photo but her abdomen is very smooth and she is about 1 1/2 times the size of the surrounding bees. Let's hope I'm right!