I opened a 4-frame bee nuc, or small hive, a bit ago to see if the new queen was laying yet. Found a very nice dark queen who appeared to be mated and ready to go to work. But then on the next frame I found another, golden, virgin queen. Actually she had BEEN a virgin, since she had mating sign protruding from her abdomen, a clear indication that she'd just come back from her honeymoon (so to speak) and around 15 drones had recently died with
I've taken pics like this a half-dozen times before, and they always turned out sorta, well, BLAH! you know? But this one I like, and hopefully you will, too. I took it on a sunny day when zillions of young bees were making their orientation flights--the first couple of times they leave the hive, they get their bearings from the sun and landmarks as to where they are. That keeps them from getting lost when they start
I subscribe to a wide range of mailing lists, which I'll list on here sometime if y'all are interested. Mostly they're about beekeeping and gardening, with some oddballs thrown in for entertainment value. This posting came through from a veggie farmer in Virginia, and I thought some of you might find it interesting in a morbid sort of way. We gotta be careful out there! took a bite on the hand by a copperhead this weekend picking strawberries of all things. has anyone else ever been bit and how long were you laid up.
We've currently got one hive of bees just off Egypt Pike in Ross County. They sit on the farm of a coworker who used to have bees himself years ago, until he started getting sensitized to bee stings. This site has had a checkered past for me.
Surprisingly, our bees seem to be taking the weird weather in stride this spring. Ten of fourteen hives survived the winter, although one of them turned out to be a drone layer, so we had to combine that hive with the others. They've built up nicely, and at the moment I've got nucs (small hives with only 4-5 frames) with prospective new queens in them. We'll see how that works out, with 40-50 degree weather on the way the next few days.
The tornado last fall in the Wooster, Ohio area did a huge amount of damage. One casualty which most people probably know nothing about was the OSU Bee Lab barn, which was totally destroyed along with everything in it. Replacing this in today's political/financial climate probably just isn't going to happen. I'm saying all of this because of the gentleman who has been OSU's go-to man, for whom beekeeping has been a lifelong passion--Dr. Jim Tew. A good part of his life's work might as well have flown to Oz in that tornado.