The In-laws are visiting and my father-in-law wanted to see the bees. So we suited him up with a veil & gloves borrowed from my awesome beekeeping neighbor. Then we opened up the hive and showed him the bees. He got a kick out of it and asked lots of good questions.
The big thrill was marking Queen Mary. We hunted for her on every frame and, of course, didn't find her until the last frame. Frame 7 in the bottom box. Once we found her it was a mad dash to get her in the marking tube. She was moving very fast skittering across the frame. It took several minutes the cage her. Then marking her went quickly. Allowed a minute to let the paint dry before placing her back on the frame.
Marked Queen Mary
It's a lot of trouble for a Queen i'm about to replace but this will make finding her that day much easier. Although I must say that her brood pattern in the upper box looked great. If i didn't know she's a weak Queen I couldn't have guessed it from there. Solid frames filled with eggs. I think moving the hives into a sunnier spot in the yard helped immensely.
Also, there's a paper hornets nest by the hives. I was leaning on the swing watching the bees. I looked up and noticed the nest 3 feet from my head. I backed off quickly since I wasn't wearing the bee suit. Later after I had finished working the bees I went and pestered the hornets some. Yes they are very defensive but to my chagrin they're not as bad as Myrina! What does that say? I would not mind letting them continue to build their nest all year. Then I get to display their BIG nest on my desk at work come Winter. The Wife does not agree with me though. And her 'hive' comes first. So the hornets will be going away very soon. Oh well...
Hornets Nest by Hives
The hives you see left to right are: Myrina, Mary, the 2010 package. All on the new stand. We are still trying to name the new colony. It has been over 45 days since they were hived so most of the bees should bee daughters of the queen now. They are slightly more defensive than Mary but that's not saying much. They're good little workers and are growing quickly. Right now we have taken to calling her 'The Duchess'.