Saturday, May 29, 2010

Artemis may have a new queen!

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!

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