August 11th: Inspected Anna Ward’s Hive

Visited the hive of Anna Ward at her parents’ home and garden at 145 Chipeta Avenue in Poncha Springs. It was noon, and sunny, and 80 degrees.

Anna got the bees and the one deep hive box, from Grandpa’s Bees in Alamosa, about mid June. Hive box was old, in poor shape, and was not wide enough to allow any room to move frames in order to be able to get a grip on one and pull it out.

Anna said that she had seen the queen when she put the bees in the hive box.

Very little activity at the hive, maybe one bee entering each minute.

I removed the top and the bees immediately began stinging me. I was stung so many times on the right arm I don’t even know how many times I was stung. (I was wearing a veil, but only had on a short sleeve shirt and gloves. Was not using the smoker.) The bees even tried to crawl inside my gloves.  A few bees chased me for about two blocks.  By the next morning, my arm had swelled to about 150% its normal size, from my elbow to my knuckles.  The swelling lasted four days.

Back at the car, I put on a jacket and lit my smoker.

Returning to the hive, I smoked it a little and then inspected the frames. Without even pulling them, it was obvious that six of the ten had no drawn-out comb on them.

I pulled the four center frames and, other than a few capped drone cells, there was nothing happening.

The hive had very few bees in it and was obviously queenless. Unhappy bees.

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