As a new beekeeper, I was bound to make a mistake. As some of you may have been following the videos over on our Facebook Page and here on our blog, one of our colonies rejected their Queen and decided to merge into another hive. We tried to redirect it by swapping hive positions, but the bees were not fooled.. and they all went BACK to their preferred Queen and sadly, the other Queen died. I decided to cut my losses and enjoy working with my three colonies, one which is in mass-production considering it is double the amount of bees now. I think they truly know best and there was something about the other Queen that they sensed making them reject her. The amazing part was that even when we swapped the hive positions, they didn’t redirect to Hive 1 or Hive 2.. they found the Hive they first merged with again.
Well, as we were working and with everything being so crazy, I made the novice mistake of leaving one frame out and a big space inside. The bees in crazy hive then took it upon themselves to fill that void with honeycomb that was attached to the lid. Not only would this make a huge mess eventually but everything would just be totally out of control inside so I consulted with a few people and I was told to cut the comb off the top and carefully attach it to an empty frame with rubber bands.
I was so super nervous about this. There are approximately 20,000 bees in that hive and most were inside this day because of the rain. Luckily, my partner was much more chill about it and we walked each other through it step by step and did it successfully without a sting! Watch the entire video of us doing this together over on Facebook.
I’ve left the hives alone for a few days and went down today. The activity levels are out of control! Especially the merged hive. It made me a little worried that they were swarming or something was wrong but I was told all looks fine from my friend and I believe they are just working double time since it is the first beautiful day after a long stretch of rain.
This experience has been truly so amazing. I love it. If anyone is considering beekeeping but feels intimidated, please reconsider. It’s such a gift to our planet and it is really something you CAN do. Don’t doubt yourself. While I am learning as I go, I am happy to chat with you about our experience and send you in the right direction for more guidance.