We went out to the bee supply place last Saturday to get another box for the bees, just in case they would be in need of it over Christmas when the supply place was closed.
The fellow there said we should be looking at the bees every two to three weeks. I had been leaving them mostly alone, because I didn't want to disturb them too much.
So, yesterday morning (the weekend was too wet and windy), I put on the protective gear and had a look inside. The little darlings have been busy making honey, but there are no brood cells (at least, none that look like the brood cells in our bee book). And all the bees looked like worker bees, no drones and I think, no queen.
I emailed the bee fellow last night and he has responded saying he thinks we probably are queenless and that we'll need to get a nucleus to join with our current hive. Otherwise, the hive will die off. *sob*
Apparently, this is a reasonably common occurrence when you catch a swarm because the queen bee may be quite old and has left her former hive to the younger queen. This means that even though she might be there for the start of a hive, she soon dies and if there are no queen bee eggs laid during that time, the hive becomes queenless.
So, Saturday morning we will once again head to the bee supply place and procure a nucleus, which I'm presuming has a queen and some drones and maybe workers.
Apart from that, the bees we do have seem to be especially enjoying the lavender which is in bloom at the moment. The bee fellow says it makes them very relaxed and they are much less likely to sting when they've been dining on lavender. How cute!
I'm really enjoying having the bees around, so I'm hoping we can get over this hiccough and grow the colony.
love and light