On the last visit, the queen was stuck in the wrong section of the hive. Somehow I trapped her in the honey supers, which is a problem because she was laying eggs in the area where a person generally harvests honey. No one wants to chew on bee larvae while enjoying honey!
Between visits I went to Nature’s Nectar to explain the situation, and talk bee. Apparently it is possible (though unlikely) that the new young queen was very small and she could actually fit between the queen excluder grate. I kind of doubt it, but I appreciated Jim’s comment that it may not have been my fault in trapping the queen in the honey supers. Nice guy!
At any rate, I visited today and the goal was to check to see if the queen was laying eggs (in the right section of the hive). And she was! The honey was brought back up to the supers, but there wasn’t enough to really think seriously about harvesting. And the queen was in the top box of the three deeps. There was brood in the middle box as well, but I didn’t see any fully covered frames which is a concern.
At the end of the trip I ended up swapping boxes, so the queen would be on the bottom of the hive to lay brood on the bottom to prepare for winter. I also placed the inner cover on top of the queen excluder. A nice trick that Jim taught me to encourage the bees to bring the honey down into the supers. On the next trip I’ll take the honey supers off and start feeding heavy syrup in addition to laying down a mite treatment strip as a precautionary measure (I haven’t measured).
At this point, I’ve pretty much given up on a harvest (which isn’t too unfortunate, I hadn’t planned on honey this year), and I’m attempting to encourage the bee’s to create a large store of materials for the winter ahead. Hopefully the queen will start laying down dense patches of brood… Not sure why she didn’t thus far… (She did create dense frames in the honey supers!) This queen seems less efficient than the package queen I started with, but maybe it has to do with her being a younger queen. Not sure.
A good trip though! My relocation program worked! Now it’s time to start thinking about winter!
What a fun season!