Our adventure as beginning beekeepers keeps providing us with new challenges and opportunities for learning. After getting our two packages of bees in early April, we soon discovered that the queen in one of the hives had not survived. I picked up a new queen from our supplier and re-queened that hive (read about it here). Following his instructions, we did not open the hive to check on the how she was doing for a full two weeks.
Excited to see how things were coming along, it was finally time to open the hive.
Even with our limited experience as beekeepers (one season), we knew right away that things did not look right. The brood pattern was uneven and had this popcorn look, which are actually drone cells. Drones are the male bees, which are from an unfertilized egg. The drone cells are similar to, but larger than worker bee cells. The number of drones per colony should be only around 15 percent of the total population. We saw very few worker bee cells. Continue reading