_I spent some time taking out some of the slats, since I run 9 frames in a 10-frame deep. I want the mites they pick off to fall down and out of the hive, not onto the slatted rack and back into the hive. Natasha had no swarm cells in my inspection this past weekend, but I felt like it was only a matter of time, seeing so many bees bearding up on her doorstep each day. It was time for ventillation control.
_EMERGENCY BULLETIN: This just in. Look at the bottom center-point of this frame. It's a half-built swarm cell! How did I miss this on my inspection? It's another reason I photograph and blog, so I can review my mistakes (hoping I, and others, learn along the way). I'll have to check this out and see if they're just making these for the fun of it, or if there are others in the hive capped or about to be. Dang it, Boris, please don't swarm on me!!!
_And look at my two nucs. So far they're doing well I see foragers coming and going every day. This past week I was putting some water in the little dish two feet in front of the nucs. As I was squatting and pouring the water, enjoying the calm around the hives, I noticed several orientation flights going on around the first nuc. And then I saw her: THE VIRGIN QUEEN IN FLIGHT, making her orientation. She hovered, then landed on the landing board (see, they're not useless, they're nice). Then she hovered and landed again a few more times. I said a prayer and felt truly blessed to have seen what I consider a miracle, for some small but for me HUGE. I actually got to see a queen in flight. She was twice the length of the other bees, and her black patch on her thorax was super big. I was so thankful to be there ust at the exact moment she happened to be making one of her flights. Then OFF she corkscrewed and zipped past my head. I said some more prayers that she will return safely after successful orientation and then mating flights. Seeing her in flight put all of my worries and stresses of work behind me and gave me a fresh perspective on life.
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Tom Davidson is the owner and beekeeper at T's Bees.
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