Feral Honey Bees With Good Genetics

In our last Hive and Queen update we mentioned that the Hayward Overhill hive queen was nearing the end of her life and a supercedure cell was capped to replace her. We inspected last week and found a booming hive as we provided this small colony with a few frames of bees from a queenless hive. The new queen has emerged, mated, and have much brood at all stages. One medium full of bees and we had to add another brood chamber.

I’m so glad that the daughter of a very strong queen is now running the show. A little history of Overhill colony. Nearly one year ago we relocated the colony from the soffit. Before the removal the colony was booming, full of bees, honey, and everything else you might find in a strong hive.

Here’s our original queen.

We hived them and brought them back home. They continued to thrive but somehow their numbers started to decline in the Fall, going into Winter with about 5 frames of bees only. Coming out of Winter there were only less than one frame remaining but this small cluster survived the harsh Nov and Dec months we had this past year and started to rebuild their numbers when our flow started in February. Each day I can see a little more entrance activity, with some more bees foraging and a few doing orientation flights. The colony was small but slowly growing in numbers.

Now it was time for the original queen to pass on her good genetics, laying in one of the queen cups and the workers attended to this new heir. The daughter emerged sometime last week and appears to be mated as there are brood of all stages, and I’m sure her mom helped her out a little with laying some eggs before she passed away. Great bee genetics and again I’m really glad to our new queen and a booming hive!

Here’s our new queen. Sorry for the horrible photo.

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