I hived my Italian bees on Saturday, May 12, the day before Mother’s Day.
It’s been 11 days, and the bees have drawn out comb in 5 of the 8 frames. I don’t like to crowd my bees, so it was time to add another medium super.
I’ll add at least one more medium super, and probably two, to accommodate the growing colony. I would be surprised if I harvest any honey at all from this hive this year.
I did a very quick inspection and found Queen Cups along the top quarter of a few frames.
This may or may not mean something.
Since the cups are at the top of the frames, their presence may mean that the workers are considering replacing Queen Maria Amalia. If they are, the Queen will lay an egg in the cup, and the workers will begin raising a new Queen.
The Queen Cup will then become a Queen Cell, which looks like a peanut.
I’m not too worried about Queen Maria Amalia though. It’s not unusual for bees to make Queen Cups, and even Queen Cells, this time of year. Some beekeepers consider them a normal part of the “hive furniture.”
I won’t open the hive again until the weekend after next. It’s good to let the bees do their thing with as little disturbance as possible!