Not what you expect when you open a hive

This hive….*head shake*… I knew right away it was going to be trouble.  In the nuc box they were already busy attaching the frames to the box.  At first opening, they had burr comb and bridges everywhere – I figured they were going to be sculptors.  Overactive wax glands. Plus about a dozen queen cells that time.

I carefully scraped off all that unauthorized comb, but not even two weeks later, they’ve attached a sail to their feeder bottle.  Not sustainable!  Full of honey too.  And they had the whole inner cover stuck on to the frames.  I’m going to have to go in oftener to keep them in line.  I was there to super them up, and didn’t have time to scrape and clean everything, especially after discovering queen cells all over (again).  I just swapped out the comb and honey covered inner cover and carried on.  This hive is very vigorous, which is great, but they seem a bit crazy.  In the “crazed” sense of the word.  They have the numbers, but they don’t feel strong, they feel unbalanced.

I’ve named the hives!  The one on the left is Sunflower, the problem hive, on the right, is Violet.  The names just came, so I know they’re right.  I’m going to paint flowers on them.  I’ve got to put my beekeeper number on them too, asap.

New thing for me: I pulled two brood frames from this hive and started a new box (!).  There’s a closed queen cell on one, so in theory (I haven’t read up on this, just did it spontaneously with not much knowledge), lots of workers will stay with the brood they’re tending, and when that queen hatches, they will (swear fealty) to her and become a new hive.  That, or they’ll all leave and go back to the mother hive a few feet away.  I hope it works!   The new hive is Pansy:)

I didn’t see the queen in Violet, not that she isn’t there- there was a big beauty last time- so I don’t know why they’re requeening (again), but there were two big queen cells on two different frames, and that’s what made me steal one.  The perfect conditions, won’t happen often.  Oh, and there was a waggle dance being performed.

The other hive, Sunflower, kept busy consuming their syrup instead of using it for architecture, and they are smaller in numbers but mighty and well-behaved.  Not a bit of burr comb out of place, and frame after frame of closed brood, so they are about to have a population boom.

The baby chipmunks are doing well, scuttling around.  They’re not all the same size, and the smallest one is soooo cute.

The broken chick is doing very well.   Putting weight on it day before yesterday, limping yesterday, using it today.   Healing so fast!  She and Apples are in the greenhouse for rain day, and they’re scratching up a storm.  Tomorrow I’ll take her little cast/splint off.

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