So during the hive inspections today I found some terrible signs in one of our bee hives. One of our packages has lost its queen! She was in there last week but it looks like she has been gone for several days, no eggs or young larvae were present and after two separate inspections, no queen was found. There were lots of signs to support the fact that the hive was queenless, queen cups were everywhere but I suspect the loss was sudden as they had no capped queen cups or emergency queen cells since they clearly didn’t have young enough larvae to rear into a new queen. Luckily there was some capped brood and brood of different ages present to help the population through the process of introducing a new queen to the hive. The only question was how quickly I could get a new queen and where should I purchase one?
Well, I decided to make the short drive and pick up a queen from the same great guy who sold me my nuc this year. She’s an Italian/Carniolan mutt and unmarked but she was ready and available to be put into the hive on Monday. I may go through the pain of marking her myself, but at this point, I’m happy to just have her in the hive and getting acclimated to her new home. Being a new beek and having to go through this was a tad stressful but it’s part of keeping bees and it’s a great learning experience!