Queen bee in cage with her attendants who feed and take care of her

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.

Deutsch: Noch leeres Weiselnäpfchen am Rande e...

Queen cell

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.

Deutsch: Die Bienenkönigin wurde vom Imker mit...

Marked queen

Feeding the bees drops of water and honey

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.

Older larvae in open cells. On the lower left ...

Older larvae in open cells. On the lower left is one about to pupate. On the upper right is one partly capped. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

If you look closely, you can see white larval brood exposed from taking apart the hive bodies.

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.

Setting up a new box

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!

Two queen cells were opened to show queen larv...

Two queen cells were opened to show queen larvae of the Western honey bee floating in royal jelly. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The weather is warm and the flowers are blooming so I am hoping for the best. Will keep you posted!

Redbud blooming

About thegardendiaries

Claire Jones is a landscape and floral designer and owner of Claire Jones Landscapes, LLC. She designs and helps people to create their own personal outdoor oasis and loves to write about her gardening failures and successes.
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  1. Such a great beekeeping story!! By the way, I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. See http://romancingthebee.com/2012/04/12/i-owe-it-all-to-my-bees/


  2. creekrose says:

    i love the bee swarm picture!! thanks for adding a link to my bee dreams post, it’s my first linkback :0)


  3. Pingback: 4/22/12 – Larva in the hives « My bees

  4. Pingback: Nurse, Scalpel, Please « My Latin Notebook

  5. Pingback: The Garden Hive Groweth « Romancing the Bee

  6. Pingback: The Queen Bee is Gone 6/24/12 « My Honeybees

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