Long live Queen Vivienne!!

Remember I mentioned the capped queen cell in the nuc which had Queen Vivienne?? I thought it was a supercedure cell. I finally checked on it Sunday. I thought I was too late to save the VSH queen and she had been killed by the virgin or the workers. I saw the queen cell and it was ripped open from the side. I wasn’t sure what to make of it, I thought that meant Queen Vivienne was still alive and she offed the virgin. Then my husband spotted what looked like a very small virgin, I kept looking at her and her abdomen was a little longer than the rest, but I wasn’t convinced. I kept looking and there she was!!! Queen Vivienne in all her yellow marked glory. I saw loads of eggs, for a small nuc… I may add a few frames of capped brood to up the bee numbers a bit. I have a plan for overwintering this small hive.

They were putting honey away but needed more stores. I had given them very small pieces of pollen patty because there wasn’t much pollen in the hive. But I saw 2 hives beetles in the patties and when I looked closely, there were tiny, tiny larvae crawling around. I took those patties and put them in the freezer, breaking up the remaining piece into even smaller pieces. The freezer will kill the larvae and the pieces remaining in the nuc were made even smaller for the bees to handle better. However, considering their hive size they did make significant dents in the pollen patties, I was most impressed.

Here is the new hive and the color (called Sweet Rhapsody):

This is a very light blue-green, it reminds me of a color you would see on beach homes and on islands. I love looking at it. I need to paint the cover too. Those smudges in the front are actually bees flying.

I’ve been trying to come up with a hive name. Interestingly enough, by choosing the name Vivienne (because of the VSH trait), I inadvertently used an alternate name for The Lady of the Lake from the Arthurian legends. I discovered this while looking for female water nymph or goddess name for the hive! Anyway, after looking around I’ve decided to name the hive Avalon, this was said to be a magical island off the coast of Great Britain and where the Lady of the Lake lived. Good enough for me. So Avalon joins Melissa and Demeter.


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