Barnaby looking in the hive. These bees are from Coma Apiaries in Northern California. I purchased bees from them in 1999.
We pulled a frame. Good pattern of brood, very yellow bees—haven't seen yellow bees for a while.
Supercedure cell..."but there are eggs and larvae!" he says...bees don't care what Humans say. The queen is being replaced.
Second hive: Barnaby getting ready to open it up.
I don't know if you can see it, but there was a supercedure cell in this hive—also not much brood. "Why the supercedure cell?" the human asks. Well, we saw the queen—she was going in circles like she was frustrated. "How would you like to be ready to lay 5000 eggs a day and have nowhere to lay them?" I said.
The bees think something is wrong—the queen is not laying, so they start to replace her.
More plastic comb, another supercedure cell.
Closing up the third hive.
The second hive when we opened it sounded funny. I pointed this out to him. When bees are happy they sound in tune. I also had him put frames with wax foundation in the hive so the queen can lay. The bees here been here for a month—their numbers are going down.
A queen excluder is a device that removes the queen's determinism. She should be able to decide whether to swarm or leave or lay wherever she decides is best. When a human or humans decide what is best for the bees the bees fail...humans don't know as much about the hive as the queen and the bees do.
But it has been fun Mentoring Barnaby anyway.