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All Hail the New Queen.

It’s been two weeks since we had an opportunity to check on the bees. Last weekend the weather was the pits, and there was simply no way we could open the hives in the rain and cold weather. So, we wondered what kind of mess we’d find this weekend. Did the bees go a little stir crazy, cooped up during the rainy and cloudy days, and start to build queen cells in preparation to swarm?

We did not find capped queen cells, so that was good news – the girls aren’t feeling crowded. But, not finding capped queen cells was also kind of bad news because if we found capped queen cells we were going to pull the frames out and make a couple new colonies.

The bad news of the day was that one hive, Thor, is queenless. And, apparently lacking a queen for a good length of time as there were no eggs or even brood (baby bees). So, today we hopped down to Perry and picked up a new queen. We got home in time to put it in the hive. We also pulled a couple nice frames of well-developed brood from Lena and Ole, and put it in Lars, so that bees will be emerge soon, bolstering Lars’ population. Fingers crossed! We’ll check the progress on release of the queen in the next 24-48 hours.

This is what it looks like when you get a queen bee in the mail.

This is what it looks like when you get a queen bee in the mail.

5-14 queen cage box

The queen is in the cage, with a hard candy plug in the bottom. Once accepted by the colony, the bees will eat the candy, releasing the queen. The queen’s attendants surround her on the outside of the cage.

We pulled two frames of capped brood from other hives (thanks Ole & Lena) and placed them in Lars, with the new queen.

We pulled two frames of capped brood from other hives (thanks Ole & Lena) and placed them in Lars, with the new queen.

If you look close, the queen is in the right end of the cage.

If you look closely, the queen is in the right end of the cage.

The queen cage is installed between the two frames of brood. Bees immediately clamored onto the cage and tongues were immediatly evident - a good sign as acceptance.

The queen cage is installed between the two frames of brood. Bees immediately clamored onto the cage and tongues were immediatly evident – a good sign as acceptance.

 

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About Idiots Keeping Bees

We're always looking for new adventures, and well, learning about beekeeping seemed like a good idea. We had one hive in 2011, and we've increased since then Our goal is 10ish colonies, but we haven't hit our mark quite yet. We've found talking with other beekeepers to be invaluable, so we're starting this blog to keep long-distance conversations rolling throughout the year. If we can figure out beekeeping, so can you!

2 responses »

  1. Nice looking brood frame! Well done Ole. Have you checked yet to see if she’s out of the cage and laying eggs?

    Reply
    • Yes! Mark made it out this morning (Tue, 5/20) in perfect weather. He let her out as the bees had not worked entirely through the candy plug yet. Bad weather was on the way so we just wanted her out in case we would not be able to check again in a timely manner.

      Reply

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