Monday, February 14, 2011

Blessed Bee

After 2 years of being a bee tenderer, I finally decided it was time to join the San Francisco Bee Keepers Association. Over this last two years I have read and researched a lot about bees, I have gone to classes and workshops, and I have asked many questions to a lot of people. I went into this with pretty much zero knowledge and two years later I can tell you I know a lot about bees, but as with most things in life, there comes a point when you know so much to realize that you don't know anything.

Last week as I was inspecting my new hive 'Gloria' I noticed something really odd. There were multiple eggs per cell. See the picture below, you can see the multiple eggs per cell.

This can happen when working bees start laying eggs if there is no queen. 

This was not the case with my hive because the queen was present in the hive. Here's a picture of my lovely queen. 

Here's a picture of a normal egg laying patter. Only one egg per cell.

I did some research on this and I could not find any answers, so I went to the bee keepers meeting to ask the experts. Turns out they were just as perplexed as I was and did not know what was happening. One possible answer might be that because my queen is new (I got her last year in September at the end of the season, so she is just starting to lay eggs) she is still learning how to do this and might correct her behavior. Hopefully that is the case otherwise they recommended I get a new queen. 

I am happy I finally joined the SFBA, there was some really good information presented as well as the devastating news of so many hives dying in the city. It is really important to continue our efforts to learn and understand what is causing the deaths of this hives.

I am looking forward to another year with my bees and continue to learn about them and contribute to the bee association.

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