I worked very hard this year getting my bees going. This weekend I did an inspection, added a super - they looked great.
Then my former mentor and his apprentice show up - I've asked them a dozen times not to just show up and not to go into my hives without me - and here is the issue with mentors - they sometimes think they own the bees instead of you.
Luckily, I was home.
They wanted to look at the brood and I agreed (again this is where I needed to be firmer and tell them to leave the hive alone) but I didn't. Somewhere between taking the hive box off and a frame from it out, the Queen fell to the ground. And then flew away.
To say I was devastated would be an understatement. My husband found me bawling in the driveway.
Off went these two to find me a new queen, which they are installing today.
I spent two hours searching the grass for the old queen, giving birth to the understanding of "finding a needle in a haystack".
I hope my bees accept the new queen. I feel awful about the old Queen, doing nothing but her job when her whole world was sent upside down.
Lesson here: Be firm with your mentors when you feel it's time for you and them to part ways
As for me - As soon as the new queen is in I am making it PERFECTLY clear they are not to touch my hives again.
I'll admit I'm a somewhat new beekeeper (6 years) but really--how much worse could I do?