A mixed day today, with more dead queens found and some missing in action. Over the last few weeks I’ve lost ten queens, some of last years overwintered queens, and some of this years new queens – this tends to get me down.
I now have several hives queen less, which will hit my honey harvest hard due to the fact that it will take at least a month to get a new queen raised, mated and laying again, and in that time the number of bees in the queen less hives will be declining. My queen rearing will also suffer due to lack of choice of hives to take larvae for grafting from, and the diminishing number of nurse bees to feed and bring on new queens.
Having said that, I grafted 20 larvae into queen cups today, and placed them into a queen less hive to (hopefully) get them drawn out as queen cells. I’ll be happy if I get half of them accepted at this rate, at least it’ll give me something to work with.
The hive with the cell bar in will be fed constantly until the queen cells are capped, so that the nurse bees have plenty of food to feed the larvae with.