Just my luck to get a bunch of radical bees. After delivering my empty hive to the chap who’s providing my nuc, I didn’t hear anything for a while. So I got back in touch and it turns out that there’s been a bit of a hitch. Apparently, not long after the bees were transferred to the hive, they turned on the queen and “balled” her.

In case you were wondering (because, I must admit, so was I) balling looks like this:

Nice, huh? The colloquial term for this is “cuddle death”, which also just happens to be the Best Short Story Title Evah. I’m definitely going to use that one some day.

The odd thing is that my bees have done this to a perfectly healthy mated, laying queen. My supplier is at a loss to understand why, as it’s happened to a few of his nucs this year despite never having done so before. The most likely explanation to my mind is that the worker bees have acquired some revolutionary tendencies along the way and are almost certainly engaged in a reign of terror right now. The tumbrils are being loaded up with recidivist drones even as I write.

Meanwhile, my poor supplier is going to have to introduce a new virgin queen from another hive. I just hope Madame Robespierre Bee takes kindly to her…