Three weeks later and three laying queens

With a lot of will power I held off going into the Beehuas for three weeks. Exactly three weeks ago my bees swarmed and when I rehomed them into the left side of the Beehaus I was told by beeks more experienced than myself, to leave them bee (sorry) for three weeks. The reason being that the queen was a virgin (or so I thought) and she needs time to mate and to start laying without nosy humans disturbing the hive.
I held tight until today and I was certainly in for a shock. I opened up the left side and immediately I saw the super was full. I pulled out a frame and it was full of eggs with honey along the edge (above) and so was the next and the next. What was going on? Surely the queen didn't mate and start laying so furiously in a matter of days.  (By the way, I didn't put a queen excluder on for that exact reason).
Then as I got into the brood box, I found more capped brood (above) and larvae and eggs. And then I spotted her, sporting her green spot as she scuttled down to the bottom of the frame. The buckfast queen that I thought the bees had killed. They didn't kill her, they loved her so much that they decided to elope and fly away together!

So, it wasn't the right side of the Beehaus that swarmed after all, it was the left. No wonder I couldn't spot her when I got back from Boston and thank goodness for Steve who rescued my swarm!

The colony has, however, built up into the supers instead of out as not all the brood frames have been drawn. So, I put a queen excluder on and an extra super giving the bees six more frames to store honey (fingers crossed!).
Then I went into the right hand side. Not as productive as the left, as the supers are still unoccupied, but having pulled out two frames I noticed larvae on both. Yay, a mated queen!
The bees were getting a bit feisty. So instead of disturbing them any longer as I was really just going in to check for evidence of a queen, I put the queen excluders on (don't want a repeat of the left) and closed up.
Then it was on to the 'tree bees'. They are doing brilliantly considering what a dinky colony they were at the beginning of the season. Look how the queen is laying - it's a funny phenomenon with queens in that they don't lay on top of the wire in the frames. That is why you get the triangular shape of empty cells.

Below are some photos I took of that colony - note the bee with full pollen sacs and the comb I managed to sneak out of the hive. That honey hasn't gone into my belly though. I have another purpose for it which will be revealed at the end of the week. Hint: it's to do with baking.


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