I opened my bee hive without a lot of hope on Sunday. After seeing supersedure cells and a dwindling population last week, I was thinking we were in a tailspin. But, I was completely wrong!
For the first time, I examined my frames on a truly bright (hot) sunny day. I brough each frame as close as I could to my veil, with the sun shining brightly on it. And to my wondrous eyes appeared–eggs! One tiny white line per cell. I imagine this is the feeling people get when they first see the Northern Lights. Science tells you that this stuff happens and you’ve seen the photos to prove it, but until you bear witness for yourself, you can’t really believe.
Knowing that the eggs were there and that they were laid by a queen (workers will lay two eggs per cell–a serious malfunction in the hive), I was determined to find my queen. On the sixth of eight frames, there she was, as plain as day. I literally said out loud, “There’s my queen! I found my queen!” All beekeepers say this every time they find a queen, but most of them have the benefit of open fields and vast distances from civilization. I’m pretty sure the neighbor kids in the catty-corner yard thing I’m bonkers.
Before I put the frame back, I even told her to keep up the good work! I imagine she and I will be knowing each other for a long while (up to five years under the right conditions), so building a good working relationship is important. Encouragement is a must. Giving her a name is also a must. When I first got my bees, my sister asked if the queen could be called Latifah. I agreed. But now that Latifah is gone (R.I.P.), I need a new name.
Let’s take a vote: