What a wonderful way to begin the week with a visit to my new hives. I found the blue queen and was amazed by what she and her workers have done. Seven of the frames are heavy with brood and honey. Though they are about one-third the size of the newest hive, they are thrifty, hard workers. There was still sugar syrup in their feeder, but it appeared from all the activity they have abandoned it for the nectar flow. I wanted to name the new monarchs and decided her name shall be Iris in honor of the glorious blue wildflowers that dot the swamps. Her iridescent dot is fading but she was easily identified. I put on another super (box) with ten new frames. She will move up as the frames fill and continue her tireless propagating of the colony.
The second queen, who arrived on Wednesday, is unmarked for now. I gave that colony more syrup in their feeder and didn’t dig down to check on them. It has only been a few days since they settled and every time I open them to the elements, it sets them back a day or so. They flood the entrance and move in clouds around the bee yard. Hanni and I were trying to come up with a name of the second queen and settled on Cleo, short for Cleopatra. She came with an entourage and is perfectly, beautifully unmarked.
The joys of having bees in my life again include a minimum of two trips a day to the bee yard. I sit quietly and watch their antics. Their busy hum is calming as I reflect on life renewed. I identify with my queens after a wonderful Mother’s Day with my own girls who made me feel so loved.