Tuesday, May 28, 2013
We split our hives on May 1st. A couple weeks later, Lily and I went in to make sure that there were queen cells in the lang.
We did find some - here's the pic.
Just in case something goofy was going on, we put another frame of larvae and eggs in that hive from the hive with the queen. That way, if the bees don't like how things are going with the current queen cells, they have fresh material to build new ones with.
In other news, at the bottom of that hive, I found this thing. I had seen it trying to get into the hive a few days prior and commented on the sheer enormity of it. That's one of my bees to the left of it.
It's enormous. E.Normous.
Huge. Gigantic. Colossal.
And really dead. It got into the hive and the bees took care of it. And while Lily and I were marveling over it, another one came around to investigate the open hive.
I killed it and as it died, it tried to use it's stinger to get me [actually the hive tool I was using to kill it it with]. Holy cow! The stinger is long and flexible, so don't pick a fight with these.
The good news is that they are Giant European Hornets, Vespa crabro, brought over in the late 19th century. They are not the hornets of the papery bag nests that hang in trees, those are the little black Bald-faced Hornets, which are really wasps. These are the true hornets. A lot less common and a lot less mean.
Not something I'd like to meet in a dark alley, but maybe as a bouncer in a nicer nightclub.