You know you're an old married person when a "date" is any time you spend alone with your mate. In our case, Monday's "date" was driving to Forrest, MS to buy two new queens from Derwin Thrash (pictured at left). You can read about Derwin and his work with a locally famous beekeeper in this article. Derwin and his wife welcomed us into their home, gave us a jar of honey "in exchange" for the jar of jam we took to them, and offered a lot of helpful information. She's a teacher so you know we hit it off!
One of the queens has a long, golden body; the other is darker, and has a stockier build. We're hopeful they'll get Hives 4 & 5 on the right path. The idea behind this particular attempt to re-queen is that both of these colonies came from other places (a gas grill and an old dairy barn, respectively). With a purchased queen, you know she's young and fresh (!), and has "good genetics." Or in this case, at least known genetics. We also didn't see as much activity, solid brood patterns, and consistent wax building in these hives. So, hopefully the new queens will straighten out those worker bees and start laying well.
How many people can say they had a fun date that involved their husband picking up two other gals?