Just over 2 weeks into our beekeeping adventures, and already each Hive has been developing its own personality. We had plans to name the hives something witty but so far are just calling them Hive 1 and 2. Anyway…during this weekends inspection, we observed that Hive 2 is about double the population of Hive 1. The bees had drawn out more than 6 of the eight frames with wax, 2 frames of which are now “sealed brood”. This means that in about 1 more week, we will have new baby bees hatching! Because of this rapid expansion, we decided to add a second super (box) on top of the first, so the bees will have more room. (If you don’t do this, they will soon swarm, which is when about half the colony, including the queen, leave the hive and search out a new place to nest).
Hive 1, on the other hand, is a bit of a slacker in comparison. I’m guessing about half the number of bees. Now, I’d be more worried, especially because this is the hive we have not yet seen the queen, but there was still eggs, larva, and (now) some capped brood. This has got me thinking, are we observing “drift” between Hive 1 and 2? I think it’s possible, especially if the queen in the more populous hive is stronger–possibly secreting more worker bee-attracting pheromones?
So my niece, Brooke, asked me the other night why don’t I name the bees? I’d have to make little bee name tags, which would be cute, but a little time consuming ;-).
But I do think it would be cool to name the queens, especially as I said, each hive is beginning to show it’s unique personality. In many ways, the behavioral traits can be attributed to the ruling queen. After some discussion, we came up with the perfect name for Hive 1’s queen. She must be shy, because I haven’t been able to spot her yet; she is keeping herself hidden away from view. We christened her as Queen Elsa!
Thanks Brooke for helping me name my shy Queen in Hive 1! When I do spot her I’ll be sure to post a picture! If anyone has suggestions for Hive names, post them in the comments.
Until then, bee good!