Lost a hive
Hive E is a goner. There are no eggs or brood and no queen. I don’t know for sure if all the bees in the hive are left over or just robbing what is left. I rechecked near dusk when the bees had mostly settled down and there were still lots of bee in the hive, so I think they are just old bees without their queen. I don’t know what happened to her. She might have died or might have ‘re-swarmed’ (I think I just made that word up). This was a swarm from the Georgia hive and although it was very productive, I think not very stable. The consensus among local bee folk was that this year’s Georgian queens should be replaced. I agree, although in my case, swarming made re-queening unnecessary.
It has been in the 90s this week, but as soon as I get a day in the 80s, I will decommission hive E and use some of the frames in the other hives and honey supers, if possible.
The good news is that hive A has a honey super that is almost full! It seems as thought they ignored it for months and then it went from empty to full in a week. I guess that is possible. I may even need to add a second super on that hive. So it looks like some honey is actually in the cards for me this year after all.
The bees still seem very active. Foragers are coming and going at a brisk clip, so there must be some nectar out there. I just hope it can keep up for a little while longer. Most people harvest honey in July or August, the idea being that we can take honey then, but after that we need to leave it for them to store and to get through the winter. A nectar flow in the fall is great for the bees, but doesn’t help me harvest honey.