Just a note: The Queen Cells I caged Monday have hatched. As stated in the title, (3) are dead – the cause of death is unknown but I suspect starvation.
This has been a hard year filled with ups and downs. However, I take these setbacks, not as failures but as lessons. This lesson is easy: Queens are fragile and, no matter the weather or life conditions, the queens must be systematically dealt with.
I knew I should have checked the queens on Tuesday but I let the heat keep me inside. Yesterday it rained and I took that as an excuse to again avoid the extreme heat (92 degrees – 60% humidity – 105 heat index) – though I did at least check the queens.
Of course being a better beekeeper doesn’t mean I have to have a heat stroke. If queens are fed, they can be kept caged for a week before mating them (They must be introduced to the hive the same way that a mated queen is introduced). Yesterday I dripped a little honey on each of the four remaining queen’s cages – Noah is going to do the same today while I’m out of town. Then Saturday, I will get up early and get my beekeeping done before the heat sets in.
The two lessons here are:
1. Pre-plan all queen rearing activities.
2. Regardless of the weather, the show must go on.