Opening up the boxes
I had been looking in my hives two weeks before and couldn’t find any brood! Lots of bees were buzzing around and bringing in pollen and nectar but I was puzzled and alarmed by the lack of any eggs or larvae. No queen cells were in evidence either.
I was pretty thorough in looking through the boxes for any sign of brood and came up empty. I called up my local beekeeper supplier who I knew was going down to Georgia to pick up packages and queens and ordered a queen right away.
As soon as I got the call that the queen were ready, I picked her up and brought her home. I am always amazed at getting a new queen bee! She is placed in such a small cage with her attendants that I can’t believe she can survive for days like this. After feeding her with some drops of honey and water, I prepared to place her in my hive.
The first thing I saw when I opened the hive was brood! There was a good amount but not a huge amount. I was relieved but didn’t want to put a new queen into a queen-right hive so decided to make an increase instead.
I took a couple of frames of brood from my newly discovered ‘queen-right’ hive and place them in a new hive box surrounded by honey and some empty combs for laying eggs.
Then I sandwiched the queen cage, with the screen facing up and the two corks in the ends still intact, between two brood frames that had some nurse bees. I closed the box up, put a feeder on, and crossed my fingers! I want the new queen’s pheromones to permeate the new hive so that the other bees will get used to and accept her. I have had so many queens not take, that I am always apprehensive about introducing a new queen. I have seen newly released queens simply fly off or be surrounded and killed!
The weather is warm and the flowers are blooming so I am hoping for the best. Will keep you posted!
- Swarming of the Bees – It is That Time of Year Again! (thegardendiaries.wordpress.com)
- Beekeeping 101 (thegardendiaries.wordpress.com)
- All About Bees – Searching For Queen Cells (lilsuburbanhomestead.wordpress.com)
- Definition: Royal Jelly (bellasugar.com)
- Bee Dreams (dreamsonghomestead.wordpress.com)
- The secret of healthy bees? Queens who have the same idea as Henry VIII – the more mates a queen has, the healthier the hive (dailymail.co.uk)