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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a!
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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Queen, The Queen, Long Live the Queen

Today I went to PN Williams' apiary to get a queen for the queenless nuc I had purchased from him. He had told me the queen was in a "queen motel" and would have no attendants and would need to be installed in the hive as quickly as possible. I was free, luckily, this afternoon from 2 - 5, so I could drive the 30 minutes to his house, pick her up, drive 30 minutes to my house and install her before going back to work in a few minutes.

It turned out that the "queen motel" referred to a shoe box sized ventilated box containing a number of queens in cages but not with attendants as they would be in a package. He gave me the queen cage with a candy plug (already opened) and I headed for home. I hung the cage on a frame with a wax foundation so that I could use a twist tie to support it.



I put the frame back into the hive and the bees were all over it. They have been desperate for a queen for 10 days now. When I closed up the hive, I couldn't see the queen cage because it was covered with bees.


Within five minutes of closing up the hive, a worker bee dragged this pupae out the front entrance and dropped her on the ground. I had supplied this hive with a frame of brood and eggs to help them make their own queen. The shape of this pupae caught my eye and I took its picture. I wonder if this were a queen in the making, but the minute the real thing arrived, they cast their creation out.



Below you can see her a little closer up - I'm having a hard time with the macro focus on my camera, but this at least lets you see her back.


While with the bees I added sugar syrup to several feeders on the nuc hives and opened one of the swarm hives that I hadn't checked since I installed it. There is definitely a laying queen there - I saw eggs. They've built out the lower box and I added a new brood box.
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4 comments:

  1. Dear Mrs linda,
    I’m writing from Romania,just to ask you help. Please, be so kind and tell me the way you did lemongrass oil paste to use for swarm bait.
    Sincerely
    George

    ReplyDelete
  2. There's a slideshow about how to do it here:
    http://beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com/2008/02/spring-is-coming-invitation-to-swarm.html

    I made it with 1/4 cup olive oil, about a 1 inch square of beeswax and 15 - 20 drops of lemongrass oil.

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  3. Linda, Looks to me like the new queen found this growing queen and let her have it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. If the new queen were loose in the hive, she would have killed any queens in their cells, but the new queen is in a queen cage, not released. The bees have to eat the candy plug in order to release her. I checked on Friday and there was about 1/16 inch of candy plug still holding her captive. I imagine when I check today (four days later) she will be wandering around in the hive.

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