2016-07: We Spotted the Queen

Queen Bee
This is a quick Blaine City Hall honeybee hive report from Dan Hauck.

On my way back to the hive, I noticed that wind from a recent storm knocked a tree down.  I need to put more weight on the top.  Now that the hive is 3 boxes tall it has a greater chance of having high winds blow it over which would be a disaster!

The queen was spotted!  Can you see her amongst all of the bees on the frame?  Queen honeybees can be elusive and tough to find.  She is on the bottom rail of the frame near the middle and is twice the size of the workers.

It was a relief to find the queen and see that the hive is expanding.  It is thought that a queen can typically lay around 1,500 eggs a day if she has enough comb ready and there is an adequate supply of nectar and pollen.  With the discovery of the queen, I may not pull and inspect frames from the bottom box until the Fall, or even next Spring.  If I were to accidentally hurt the queen at this point it would almost certainly set back this colony to the point where they would not survive the winter. 

The upper box, which has the frames of built out comb from a previous hive, is also looking good.  The bees have meticulously cleaned out and reshaped the old comb to use them for stores of pollen and nectar.  The second photo shows the bees have nearly filled many cells in their production of honey.  A couple of the cells on this particular frame have capped honey.  If they can fill up this box by winter, one box can hold up to 60 pounds of honey!