In the four weeks following our hive setup, we have been watching the activity closely.
Our South African hive is buzzing with activity, and really thriving. The sky above our house is like a little freeway for honeybees! They are coming back covered in pollen and it is really exciting to watch.
Our Canadian hive however, is very slow in comparison. Yes, there are bees coming in and out of the hive, but not nearly at the rate of our other hive. At first we chalked this up to the fact that this particular hive came with one less frame, so we figured it would naturally be a bit slower. But when the activity level didn’t really increase over the next week, we decided to take a look around for the Queen.
After I finally found her, I noticed there was something wrong. Her movements were slow, and it seemed as though she had difficulty walking, and she eventually tumbled off the frame into the bottom of the hive. I carefully replaced her, and a few minutes later, it happened again. This was not due to my handling of the frames, but there was something wrong and she was unable to hold onto the frame properly. We knew we needed the help of an experienced beekeeper to help us assess the situation and decide what needed to be done.
Our local beekeeping club has a Mentor program and we were fortunate enough to have an experienced beekeeper pay us a visit and check out our hive. Our suspicions were confirmed, and our Queen has a damaged leg. We don’t know if she came to us that way, or if something happened in the hive, but it is an issue that must be resolved asap. Sigh.
We called a local beekeeper who raises Queens and he has one ready to go. So tonight, four weeks after starting this journey, I must remove our Canadian Queen, take her away from the vicinity of the hive and execute her. *sniff*. I’m sure this all comes with the territory and is to be expected, I just never thought it would happen so soon! We will let the hive sit Queen-less for three days, then pick up the new Queen and introduce her.
Off I go. With reluctance.