I was due to announce the competition winners in a live stream, since hibernation the Queen has not laid any brood, she has 2 pupae, prior to hibernation which have not eclosed.
I'm not quite sure what is currently happening with the Queen, I'm a little worried to announce a winner and the Queen may not be viable, she had laid brood when she arrived, she ate them prior to hibernation leaving only the 2 pupae.
It could be that a problem has arisen with the Queen through hibernation, I'm not entirely sure the reason, she has not laid since & the pupae have not eclosed.
In theory they should have eclosed by now & she should be well into a few cycles of laying brood.
I would like to wait until the Queen has laid more brood & has some workers, just so that I know that I have done the right thing, she seems in good health, she is actively foraging in the tubs & tubes set up.
I know the competition has been a total shambles on my end and I apologise, I tried to set something up, I was not able to do, then when the pandemic started, shipping became dodgy, I decided to wait a little longer until that all calmed down, months later this is where I currently find myself with the competition.
My proposal is if the Queen is not viable, I will contact Ants Davey & purchase a replacement, to eventually offer the entrants as a prize, he was very kind to offer the first Queen as a prize, she had brood, she was healthy, the fact is her current state could be due to mistakes I have made without realising, perhaps through the hibernation, I've racked my brains, gone over everything a dozen times, quite simply I don't know.
I know those who entered the competition may be feeling disappointed & I totally understand why, I will find a way to make it up to you all, I have the list of entrants saved.
I am still going through the process of learning, setting up the live streams, getting everything in order, I hope this mishap, is something we can all move forward trusting that I will make it happen the competition will be run at some point once I know what's happening with the Queen or have purchased a replacement, it was an honest balls up, I hold my hands up, I over reached in my capabilities and what I hoped to deliver. Lesson learned.
I just wanted to keep everyone in the loop, I have not forgotten, I just don't know what is the best step to take yet, I don't want someone to win a prize just to be disappointed.
Ants & The Colonialist