Hi from a very warm Sydney! Its been a busy few weeks and I’ve not had time to update on progress. In a nutshell:
9 weeks (Feb 1) - found the brood box was honeybound with 4 full frames of capped honey, and larger than normal arcs of honey on the other frames. Removed the 2 outermost frames and replaced with foundationed frames 2 frames in from the sides. Flow super finally had a little nectar stored in 2 centre frames, but minimal.
11 weeks (mid feb) - frames both drawn out and lots of pollen stores as well as honey. Brood still looked good with eggs, larvae and capped brood. Still minimal honey in the flow super so crushed burr comb pieces into the frames as per suggestions on here.
Now at 13 weeks (Mar 1) - Lots of activity at entrance as a lot of flowering trees in the neighbourhood. Then i went into the brood box, and that’s where I realised we had a problem.
The new frames were full of honey and pollen returning the hive to 4 full frames of honey and large arcs of honey on the reamaining frames. Then in inspecting each frame closely:
- 2 little patches of eggs on both sides of Frame 4
- 2 small patches of larvae on frame 5 and
- VERY small amount of capped brood on Frame 5 and 6.
- didn’t spot the queen, but i have difficulty finding her even when she’s marked well
So i removed 1 of the honey frames from the outside and inserted another foundation frame 2 frames in, so they could draw it out and hopefully give the queen room IF in fact she was in there.
Yesterday I called in mentor for advice/help in spotting the queen. She found her straight away on Frame 4, she looked fine except that her left wing would randomly extend every so often.
and also spotted a capped supercedure cell which we broke open to find 2 eggs.
Suggested the ladies were putting so much honey and pollen in because the queen wasn’t laying properly, and the supercedure cell meant they had started to replace her. We moved one of the newly replaced frames (from my last inspection that was remarkably already over half drawn out) close to the existing egg frame, to give the queen room.
Also, the ladies had removed the small amount of nectar from the flow frames. My mentor messaged that sometimes the ladies just don’t take to the flow frames for quite some time. So she suggested i put an ideal super on while there appears to be a flow so they can draw out the frames and hopefully move some of the brood honey stores up. I thought as per your thought @Dawn_SD, of putting the
ideal above the flow super so they need to pass through it…they may take to it if they fill the ideal.
- *Is it strange to have 2 eggs in the supercedure cell? laying worker?
- Should i wait a few days and check to see if she’s laid eggs in the newly drawn cells or should i just try and source a new queen now?
- Put the ideal on or not?
Your experience, opinions and suggestion are always thoroughly appreciated.