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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 19th year of beekeeping in April 2024. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

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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.Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Blue Heron - the Queenless Saga

As you'll remember from earlier posts, my hive at Blue Heron was started with a nuc that had no queen. There was little or no brood in the box and we saw no queen and no evidence of a queen - no new eggs or larvae, very little capped brood, all in all a sad state of affairs.

To cope with this I gave the hive brood and eggs on two frames, hoping that they would make a queen. They made at least one perfectly lovely queen cell and the hive is calm, quiet and seems to be chugging along.

Meanwhile the nuc supplier calls and wants to "make us whole" by giving me another nuc, this time with a queen. I called several beekeepers whom I respect: Cindy Bee, Jim Ovbey, and I posted on Beemaster. Everyone agreed that the hive that made its own queen needed to have a chance.

So we got permission from Blue Heron to install the nuc in a second hive. I will keep an eye on the first hive to see if the queen they made successfully mates and begins to lay eggs. If she succeeds, then we have two good hives and I'll move the newest one somewhere else. If she fails, I will combine the hive I installed today with the first hive since we know there's a good queen in the new hive.

Here's what our process today looked like:

Now the supplier feels good about coming through with a queenright nuc, I feel good about Blue Heron allowing us to temporarily have two hives there, the whole process provides a great teaching/learning opportunity, and the new queen in the first hive has a chance to prove herself.

Everybody wins!

1 comment:

  1. I know there's huge queen making operations on the go, but don't you sometimes just stop and ask yourself who can choose a better queen for themselves than the bees? I agree with your decision.


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