Category Archives: Troubleshooting

Queen cups vs. Swarm cells vs. Supercedure cells!

Well, we’ve made a new and interesting/mildly worrying observation in our hives recently. That is, the presence of so-called “queen cups” in both hives. These are enlarged, rounded cells that the workers have constructed on the face of a frame: Thankfully, they are empty (i.e. no egg or larva in them). Based on 1. the position of the cup on the frame (it’s in the middle, and not hanging off the bottom), 2. the fact that there are only a

Are my bees drunk?

Because why else would they be building comb like this: And this: These are frames from the second hive body on Hive 2 (the strong one). Why would they all of a sudden start building wonky comb, when previously they were drawing nice bee keeper-friendly comb within the frame foundations? This is burr comb, or in this case, bridge comb, because it is comb drawn perpendicular to the frames, and actually forms a bridge joining two adjacent frames.  I did what

Two steps forward, one step back…

So, remember a couple posts back where I said we added a second brood box to hive 1? Well this past weekend during our inspection, we decided to backtrack and remove it. It had been in place for 4 days and there was absolutely no activity on it. Our strong hive (hive 2) already had 4 frames being drawn and eggs being laid in the same amount of time after adding the second brood box on it, so we knew

Delving into the hive life

A week ago (3 weeks after installation), hive 2 had drawn out about 75% of the frames, which is the point at which most beekeepers add a second brood chamber. If you fail to give the queen enough room to lay eggs, the colony may decide to swarm and leave the hive. To avoid this, we added a second brood chamber above the first. To our surprise, after only 1 week with the second story, this past weekend’s¬†inspection revealed 4