Thursday, June 30, 2011

A New Queen (just not one of mine...)

Well, it's been enough time for all of the remnants of the swarmed hive to have produced queens, and I am sad to say I am zero for 5. I split off 4 nucs from the original swarmed hive (leaving cells in the pink hive as well), and nobody made a queen.

So I called up one of our bee club members, George O'Neal, who breeds queens, and met him this afternoon to buy a queen. I have had great results with George's queens in the past - they are dark queens (Carniolan genes) and do very well here in the north.

Here is the new queen, in her cage (she wouldn't hold still so I included two poses):

I put my bee jacket on and went out to install her in the Pink hive.

I watched a neat video (found here) on how to see if a hive is queenless by seeing how the bees react to the new queen. So I just set the queen cage on top of the bars to start with:

A few seconds later, some bees came out to check things out:

Then even more came out:

I couldn't really see if the bees were being aggressive to the new queen or not, but there was plenty of interest.
So I went ahead and put the cage in between a couple of the frames, face down:

That's the nice thing about these California queen mini-cages is that you don't have to take any frames out to fit the cage in.

I'll check on Sunday to see if they have released her. Hopefully in a week or so she will start laying.

Last Sunday I put a frame of eggs in the Blue Nuc and when I checked, I saw that the bees had built out a couple of nice looking queen cells. This is the mating calendar for that nuc, as best I can figure out. I still have the white queen castle (made into a single nuc) to deal with. This Sunday I'll probably move another frame of eggs from the Brown Hive to the White Nuc and let them make a queen also. Again, with the (now) two nucs, I am not worried about honey, etc. so I can afford to let them take their time.

1 comment:

  1. Cool pictures of your queen and her meeting the new colony. I hope the queen introduction goes well.


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