So it had be a LONG while since I had been in the hive, so two Saturdays ago, I decided it was time to go back in.
I put on the white suit and proceeded back to the Kingdom. I removed the roof and then the cover. With my trusty hive tool, I loosened the top bars from the propolis grip (it wasn’t that big a deal… but it sounds good!!). I removed two empty TBs to give myself working room and removed the false back.
I had to perform my knightly duty and slayed four Small Hive Dragons (Beetles). Now on to the fun stuff. I moved the empty TBs back as one single unit to avoid breaking apart all of their propolis work. I lifted the most recent built comb. Very beautiful… but empty. I believe this is TB#8. I move on to TB#7 and then to TB#6.
Hello… what’s this? Who are you Majesty? You aren’t Queen Victory. But you definitely are Royal, with your very long slender honey brown body. Are you the Royal I thought I noticed a few weeks ago? I wish I had brought my phone to take a picture.
I continue my review. Their comb isn’t looking so great. It almost seems like it has shrunken in size and there are some holes in parts of it now. I get to TB#1. It definitely is smaller than it used to be. It almost looks like something had eaten it, but it didn’t look like teeth marks, but more like it had been melted away.
So I’d gone through all of the top bars and there was NO marked bee in the hive anymore.
Let the Conspiracy Theories begin.
I started to move the TBs back to their space, and wanted to check on the new Regent again to verify what I saw, which was confirmed. She definitely was Royal and definitely was NOT marked.
I never truly thought that Queen Vicky looked all that Royal. She actually looked like all the other girls, except she had that dot on her back. However, I did initially order an unmarked queen. So maybe this is the REAL Queen Vicky and the other was an imposter! Or maybe the marked girl was truly the first Royal and she swarmed. But it is unusual for a package to swarm in its first year, or so I’ve read. If that did indeed occur, then this Royal is her daughter. Or another scenario is that Queen Vicky was somehow “damaged” in the comb collapse fiasco and the girls raised a new Royal and then pulled a Brutus on Queen Vicky! Et tu, Brutette?
I suppose I will never truly know the answer. But there is a new Ruler and we shall name her Queen Victoria the Second … or… QV2!!
Some other interesting items to note during this inspection:
- The girls were EXTREMELY calm during this visit. Much like the visit prior to the comb collapse.
- There were NO boys in the hive at all. Not one drone did I spy with my little eye.
- The girls (or the Ferals) have found some of the pond plants!
We’ve also been visited lately by this interesting little girl. Actually I’ve spied a few of them. The appear to be honey girls, but their coloring is very different. They look to be black and grey, with no indication of any brown. I’m not sure, but they might be Russians! (Psssst…. Hey…. tell me where Anastasia is !!!!)
I’ve been feeding the girls sparingly because it’s soooooo hot and dry. I’m afraid there is no nectar in the flowers.
And here are a few pictures of what’s bloomin’ !