May 17th, 2009

I checked the bees this morning. It rained all night and at first I wondered where all the bees were. I could see them milling about just inside the entrance. It was foggy and I guess that they didn’t want to come out.

Last week I put the supers on Connie and Ethel.

Connie has graceful arcs of comb on the top part of the pierco frames in the center of the super. This is good. There are clusters of bees working these. After less than a week they have started moving up to the top.

Ethel shows no activity in the super. There are dozens of random bees walking about on the supers, but no comb. I can see down through the frames and there are lots of bees on the top of the deep hive frames, but I don’t know why they are not coming up.

Martha, the nuc I got last week, is now 8 days on the site and looks happy from the outside, but I did not open her up. On sunny days (precious few) during the week I saw the workers returning with large clumps of pollen so I just have to assume that all is going well.

I am worried about Ethel. When the sun is shining the bees are wandering all over the front of the hive and swirling around as though angry. I am afraid for the queen. It could be that they are not queenright, which would account for the lack of comb in the super. I saw workers with pollen returning to the hive which is supposed to be a good thing. The behavior of the hive, from what I read, indicates the queen is dead and they may be making another. I will wait and see.

This bee thing is stressful.