G'day Phil and the True Blue Bee Gang,
I would like to announce that I have the dubious honour of having my bees referred to by the local beek of 40 years experience as having "more problems than I have ever seen".
My weak hive is picking up a little in town, actually under his TLC and watchful eye, and the strong hive here has actually got real live drones and a super of about 90% capped honey, the first flow for nearly a year. Now to the other two.
This is the story of Hive a and Hive B. Hive a was the one that superceded as you can read above, and Hive B the one whose queen I lost.
Hive a was once a powerful but undisciplined hive, ruled by a mean queen whose subjects would taunt and try to kill any strangers, and in fact would flock to a disturbance some distance off, and fly for many metres at an innocent intruder to their territory. Well, everyone knows that such a queen will not long be appreciated. Her fragile dictatorship was soon overthrown by one greater than her, and a new queen was introduced into the realm. This queen, however, was put off by the instability of the city where she was placed - and perhaps the imports and produce were too scanty for her high southern tastes - and after a short time she ceased all reproduction. Soon there was no new labour in the city, and the workers could not keep up with all the building, nursing, food gathering and guarding tasks. The kingdom became all but deserted. However, there was one weak egg, one of the last to be produced, and from it arose a decent but fragile queen to replace the barren queen. This weak queen was not taught her job, and in fact, had no one to seek advice from. She tried for some time, but continued for many months to lay multiple eggs in each cell. Only a handful of young hatched, barely enough to maintain and protect the hive's dwelling. So the greater one then, sadly, had her executed and replaced by a good queen, one who had proven her worth and ability. Yet the subjects were still faithful to the poor weak queen, who had tried hard and whom they had tolerated, and banished the good but foreign queen from the hive. The greater one was sad, and left on a journey, and was saddened on the journey by the thought of this once magnificent hive, now nearly in ruins, with no ruler to keep it stable and alive. On returning from the journey, weary and disheartened, the greater one discovered that minutes previously, a wise authority had pillaged a nearby kingdom and kidnapped many youth, and brought them into the dreary sad hive, enough, in fact, so that another queen could rise up and claim and rebuild this city. Alas, though, the subjects were by now confused and suspicious, and instead of appointing a queen, they crowned a commoner, a simple worker, and she could only produce poor dumb males, who would not be able to continue the hive, who could not work or build, and who were quickly diminishing the supplies in the warehouses. Frantically, for this was a dismal situation, a plea of help was sent out, and another wise man came. They were some who did not like the commoner, and who tried to create a new queen themselves, but in vain, for you cannot create a queen from a male. But the nests they built stood ready, and the wise man gathered an unhatched female child from the nearby kingdom, and placed her into the waiting cradle. In a few days, they sealed up the cradle and waited for her to emerge. The commoner who had risen up in desperation, saw that she had been rejected, and went into hiding.
This is where we leave her, for this poor struggling hive has been untouched since, so no one knows if she emerged as a queen, or if she has been accepted, or in fact, what fortune awaits this proud and patient hive.