This morning my husband and I went out to check on our two hives hoping to finally find the missing queen from the second hive. We haven't been able to find her since we installed the bees 2 weeks ago. The first hive seems to be doing very well and there is lots of bee activity outside the hive. We saw the queen and there were lots of bees bringing pollen into the hive. There were a few frames with brood in it, so we moved a frame with eggs and brood from the queenright hive and put it in the queenless hive hoping the worker bees will raise a new queen. It was really difficult to tell how old the eggs were because there were so many bees on the frame, so we just took the first one we saw. The eggs must be 1-3 days old because older larvae or capped brood are at too late a developmental stage to be transformed into new queens. I think this is a very risky thing to do, but we're willing to try it before we decide to order a new queen.
I'm really amazed at how gentle these bees are. We didn't need to put on our suits, unlike last year. We just put on our veils and my husband put on his gloves. The smoke seems to be enough protection to handle them. I'm really glad because I don't want the kids being afraid of them. I hope they will become interested in beekeeping. Our 17 year old daughter came outside with us and took all the pictures. Our 10 year old and 5 year old helped us gather all the equipment and helped us get the smoker started. It's so wonderful to be able to share our love of honeybees with our children. I really hope it continues.