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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 18th year of beekeeping in April 2023. 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. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a
Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

News from Drone Layer Queen

The bees are rid of the queen.  I've added weekly a frame of brood and eggs for the past three weeks.

Today I saw queen cells - at least FOUR of them - on a frame of brood and eggs I left them last week.  The best looking one is below.  The second photo is blurry but there is another queen cell.  I saw two others - all on this same frame from the nuc Julia gave me the queen cell to use to start it.

Michael Bush says that with a drone layer, you need to give them brood and eggs three times and then they will probably make a successful queen.  I hope this time, they get a good one.

I'm so glad I got to see this process so close up - watched them remove the drone brood in a good housecleaning; saw the old queen with her wings chewed almost off; now see they are making a queen cell.  From just watching the front of the hive, you'd have no idea this was going on!

The brood you see is capped brood from the frame of eggs I gave them last week.  It was a good testament to why a beekeeper should have a nuc or two going all the time.  I took a frame out of a nuc.  It was two large tear drops of newly drawn wax, covering about 2/3 of the frame.  Almost every cell had an egg in it.  There was no honey or capped brood.

These bees managed to make four queen cells from the eggs.  So by the middle of May the hive should be queenright again.

They are not missing the nectar flow which is currently going.  They have really been storing up honey.

Note:  Each time I have opened this hive, I've had to squash at least 30 small hive beetles.  Today I only saw five small hive beetles the whole time I was fooling around with the hive.  I need to order nematodes which I have not done yet.

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