Friday, June 17, 2011

Re-Queening

Our queen arrived in the mail Wednesday (this is Friday).  The post office called around 6:30 a.m. to tell us they had her and we could come pick her up.  I opened the package in front of the curious postal worker, who was wondering how anything could be alive in the package. She knew it contained something living because of the air holes in the envelope.  I pulled the container out and showed her the queen and her attending bees.  She asked if we planned to release them in our garden or something, but I explained she was to go in a beehive.
It was a drizzly morning, but more rain was in the forecast and we had a lot of things on our agenda, so we decided to go ahead and start the nuc.  We opened hive #1, first taking a look at the super which last week had shown little change.  We were happy to see that it was really filling out with fresh, white new comb and the comb was being filled with nectar.  I'll have to look at that again early next week and add a super if needed.
The top brood box was very heavy and completely full of honey.  There was no larva to be seen in that box, and because of the time and wetness we didn't go any deeper in the hive. We pulled a couple of frames, replaced those with new frames which Kathy had to run and retrieve from the barn since I had forgotten we'd need those, and put the hive back together.  We brought the nuc up near the barn, over 200 feet from the original hives and put the queen cage between some frames.  We did not get a lot of bees, so I'm hoping we got enough.  I saw no immediate reaction from the bees to the queen cage but they had probably not gotten her full scent, given the smoking they had just received.  We closed it up and will check tomorrow (Saturday) to see if the queen has been released and, if not, will release her.  Then I'll check next week to see if we have any larva in hive #1 and, if not, put the queen there.  I'm still trying to decide exactly how to do that.

1 comment:

  1. I hope all goes well for you with the introduction of your new queen. I've always wanted to see the face of a postal worker when a package of bees arrive. We get ours locally. I'm sure they must have had a lot to talk about when you left with your queen :)

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