Supersedure – Queen Cell

Very little knowledge is ever gained through success – it is through failure that we truly learn.  
I’m sure I am not the first one to say that but nonetheless, it’s absolutely true.  So it is with beekeeping.  As Andrew Davis said in, The Wonders of Beekeeping, “Bees survive, not because of the beekeepers but in spite of them.” – (I paraphrased).
In my last blog I told how my bees were failing to thrive.  Well it seems that I am not the only one who noticed – the bees themselves seem to be taking steps to fix the problem.  Here’s how I find out:
In the picture below that I took the other day, you can see there is a queen cell (mine is the picture on the left).  So my question was, “Why do I have a queen cell in a hive with a laying queen that is not crowded?”
Up until now I only thought there were two reasons to find queen cells; either the queen was missing or the hive was too crowded and the bees were about to swarm.  I had completely overlooked the idea of Supersedure.  However in a brilliant European article from www.cymru.gov.uk I found that each queen cell actually has different characteristics.
It is at times like this that I am in awe of bees.  It seems that nothing they do is accidental.
By comparing the characteristics of the queen cell in my hive to the ones on the article, I found that the bees are actually preparing to supersede the existing queen – not preparing to swarm as I originally thought might be the case.  How great is that?  Hopefully this will strengthen my hives and get them ready for winter.
On a more personal note:

I’m still unemployed for now.  I applied for my first unemployment check today.  I tried sooner but there was some bullshit about the fact that I made more than double my salary in the 4th quarter of last year than I did in the 3rd quarter… and they don’t take the quarter you are in (2nd quarter of this year) into account… OR the quarter before that until you are in the Next quarter (3rd quarter of this year)… It’s all a f***ing shell game.  

Well now I should be approved but you just know they are going to find some other way of f***ing me out of the poultry $247 a week they are offering.  Yep, I make six figures but the max unemployment benefits are less than $1,000 per month.  It is failed Socialism at its finest but I won’t go into my rant about that now.

Luckily – or more by God’s grace – my wife (the RN) has been picking up some extra shifts and keeping us in the black.  I am so thankful for her.  I feel really guilty that she is supporting us right now – PROUD – but guilty.  On the days she works I make sure to get out of bed with her.  I do the laundry and make the bed and cook supper.  I also try to get some beekeeping done and do a little writing – as well as looking for jobs on the internet.  After supper I wash the dishes and then rub her feet before bed.

I wish I could say I’m always Super Husband but when I am working I don’t help nearly as much – though I still try to share the load around the house.  That’s not true – I don’t share the load.  My wife is awesome.  On the days she works I cook but that’s about it.  On the days she’s off, she washes clothes and does most of the cooking.  When I get back to work, I’ll try to continue to do my share of the housework.

This started off sounding like I was a great husband… now I feel like I need to kiss my wife’s ass a little more when she gets home tonight.
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