Thursday, May 22, 2008
I was into my hive for a little beeswax and a weekly examination and try as I might, I could not locate the queen. Now this is not usually a problem as long as there is evidence of her presence: brood cells in various stages of progress, etc. etc. I have eight frames of comb drawn out and filled with honey. No brood, no eggs, just several thousand worker bees doing the only thing they know what to do: draw out comb and store nectar.
I have photographic evidence of her presence one week ago, but she hadn't laid any eggs and I was worried only slightly then. Who knows why she's gone... Either she was an old queen on her last swarm or a virgin queen who had taken off on a mating flight and never made it back to the hive. Perhaps it was something in between, but any way I add it up, one colony minus one queen equals no colony or bees in a few short weeks.
I have to find a queen and fast, or I'm going to be quite upset at this failure.