Bee tree update

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about a bee tree. I visited it yesterday and gave a full inspection. Here is a comparison of one frame, the front of it in May and its back in June:

side by side, reverse sides showing

side by side, reverse sides showing

I was glad to see that the bees have filled in some of the edges between the frame and original comb. One difference between the frame in May and June is that the cells were capped in May and uncapped in June. The pupae under the cappings emerged and are now filled with nectar and pollen. I have no idea where the queen went. I didn’t see her when I removed the colony from the tree. Maybe she made it to her colony’s new location but didn’t have drones for mating, maybe she died in the tree, maybe I stepped on her. There was no brood at all in Iola when I checked the other day.

What to do? I gave her a queen. My new observation hive is a perfect queen incubator. Holding four frames, it’s a very manageable addition to my backyard. A bright yellow queen was born last week, and I was able to combine it and the other bees from my observation hive with Iola.

Here are some more shots of Iola’s filling out the comb to the edges of the frames:

honeybees, Iowa

I am very encouraged to see them building out to the edges.

iola (4) small

The cells on the edges of the remnant comb have tall and short walls. They get equalized sooner or later. I think. The bees will figure out what’s best for themselves.

iola (5) small

It looks pretty bumpy, but I’ve seen all new comb that was wavy and bumpy. Like the previous photo, the cells on the edges of the remnants are uneven.

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