Wednesday, 4 May 2011

How Much Time?

How much time does it take two bee-keepers just approaching their second bee-keeping season to recover from swarming trauma? Ask me next week sometime and I might be able to tell you.

How much time does it take two melon sized bunches of bees (one honeydew, one cantaloupe) to recover from the swarming trauma? About twelve hours.

For the top bar bees have been in and out of their top bar hive today - they have been allowed one hole out of three as an access point on the advice of The Barefoot Beekeeper -and are going about their business as if nothing has happened, the swines.

The nuc bees are still behind bars - they are humming, but not in an angry way. They aren't allowed parole until they've been situated in the orchard apiary on Friday. Their new hive (finally) arrived today, and Andy is being busy human bee putting it all together.

The Original Hive bees are popping in and out with large trousers full of pollen, as if nothing has happened, the swines. But then I guess they are happy with their new Queen - whom has been spotted and shall be called April 29th (and not because there have been 28 Queen Aprils before her, but because we guess that is when she must have hatched.) Also, they are probably glad of the extra space they now have, given that about 40,000 of their hive mates left the building, Elvis-style, yesterday. We hope Queen April 29th will go on successful mating flights and continue the good work of Queen Philibert. Or we'll be up the creak again and there will be ominous talk of 're-queening.'

The Artificial Swarm Hive, headed by the admirable Queen Philibert, who seems to be the only Malarkey bee capable of exerting any kind of self-control, has bees popping in and out as if nothing has happened. Actually, nothing untoward has happened with that hive, but I reckon they were watching the hoo-ha yesterday with some interest. Just as long as it hasn't given them any ideas.

There we have it. One hive to four hives in just over two weeks. I'm just left wondering what to call the new Queens in the nuc and in the top bar. We're pretty certain the Queens are there, as they would have lead the casts. But we haven't seen them. We are more convinced the nuc has a Queen as cantaloupe cast was so manageable yesterday; but then the top bar girls must have a leader because when they were let out this morning they would have absconded.

I suppose the Top Bar Queen should be called Olga after Korbutt the gymnast. And the nuc Queen? Serenity, maybe? Or plain 'Flipping Nuisance.'

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