4/10/2011 – We inspected the Cupertino Krzich hive two weekends ago when it threw off a small swarm, which we hives but didn’t catch the queen and it flew off the next day. We opened the hive and didn’t find a queen nor did we find any swarm cells. Then last weekend we checked the hive again but this time we found three swarm cells sort of hidden inbetween two comb sections on the same frame. Because they were somewhat hidden we must have missed them as many worker bees cover the frame. The three uncapped queen cells were right next to each other and definitely the queens have emerged. So the small swarm that we saw has to be the first or second after-swarms with the original queen swarming with about half of the colony of bees that we completely missed while we were at work.
A frame full of uncapped honey.
So two inspections and no queen to be found, we were worried that all the new queens emerged and flew off. Usually one remains and goes off on her mating flight and comes back. I was afraid when she was coming back she went into the wrong hive as I have 11 hives next to each other. (Today we found a queen being balled at a hive that we know is queenless)
You can see three uncapped queen cells below.
Here’s the new queen we found today. Her abdomen isn’t huge yet.
Here’s the same queen at a different angle.
We didn’t give up and today after lunch we did a careful, slow and deep inspection. We looked at a frame multiple times before putting it back and FINALLY we found a queen that appears to be on the slim side. I’m sure she’s a virgin because of her size and because there is absolutely no eggs to be found in any cells. We put everything back and now we will wait for about two before we inspect again to see if our new queen is laying.
Below is the queen we found today infront of a queenless hive being balled. She was in bad shape and barely moving. We brought her into the house and sort of revived her. We will place her into one of the queenless hives to see if they will accept her. Perhaps she’s also a virgin that was chased out of the hive by her sister. Usually if two new queen emerge about the same time they fight it out, usually with one being ousted without throwing off an after-swarm.