This month's Calendar girl is Queen D of 2015, the last that was mated and came online last October. The last time I saw her she was limping on one of her legs but laying a really tight brood pattern. Her limp healed as she survived battle with two black Carniolan queens I released without realizing she was in there, three oxalic acid treatments and winter. She is descended from a swarm rescued from abandoned equipment in Huntersville two years ago, a prolific little swarm that survived winter, yielded a fine honey harvest in 2015 and gave me this queen. That was the first hive of bees I ever fell in love with, but definitely not my last. They are gentle, prolific and enduring.
Queen D and a contingent court was removed to create the artificial swarm for T's Bees in 2016, thereby creating future splits with the now queenless and growing colony from which she came. Mentee MJ took this photo of her Feb. 21, 2016. Queen D is an amber beauty. These are the genetics I want in my apiary, so the first round of spring increases are coming from this calendar girl.
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Tom Davidson is the owner and beekeeper at T's Bees.
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