Monday, July 20, 2015

the new queen is installed

I was worried about working with my bees today but ended up having fun. I just have trouble with that darned smoker. Need to learn how to get it going for more than a minute. I worked with it 15 minutes before I went down to the hive. Still, at the hive it would go for a minute then go out. But as long as I moved away from the hive, tended the smoker when it went out, the bees were good. No rushing, just keep at it, sweat dripping.

I picked up a nice new young queen from NE Bees. They gave me an attendant bee on the outside of the queen cage with her. I took both bees into my car. A 30 min ride home, and after 20 min attendant bee decided she wanted to get out of the car. I stayed calm as she buzzed all the windows. I was on the highway - what else could I do. She wasn't interested in me, but I kept my eye on her.

I think I did a good job installing the queen (I've done it wrong twice before). ....Remove plug on the candy side....stick the cage with screen side up into the comb in the center of the hive...move frames apart so the protruding cage fits...replace frame and reassemble hive. Simple, but took an hour with my smoker issues.

After I finished and sealed up the hive, of course my smoker was going good. It went for a half hour after I finished. I hated to waste it so I stayed and photographed (sweat dripping - 94F and humid) ... pictures of the smoke, of the hives, of forager bees returning to the hive greeted by attendants. Bees are amazing!

Here's the new queen in her cage. And then, the cage stuck in place the wax of a frame.
new queen IMG_3047queen installed IMG_3075


  1. Only a single bee loose in the car? When we got our first nucs we had to pick them up on the other side of the Puget Sound (so ferry ride there and back), about a 45 minute trip one way. The bees on the way back happened to chew the air holes a bit wider so that they actually filled the air in the car with bees flying everywhere until we made it home and could give them their new home.

    So you did a direct introduction (no candy plug to delay the bees from releasing her)?

  2. Wow that's sounds like quite a car ride!! Don't know if I could have done that!

    The queen cage I had did have a candy plug.

    I have to write a post, but I inspected the hive today. The queen was released, but I was surprised to see many frames full of capped brood just 5 days after adding the purchased queen. What do you think? I suppose there was already a queen laying when I added her and I didn't see the eggs.

  3. Or I have laying workers. Arghh. I guess I need to inspect again soon and check for multiple eggs in cells and numbers of drones....

  4. I can only say that the capped brood were not from the new queen. Was the introduced queen marked? If so did you find her again when inspecting? If she was marked and you find an unmarked queen you have your answer that your queen is no longer there. Of course if there was an issue with laying worker she might have been killed anyway.

  5. The new queen was not marked. I should have gotten a marked one as it so much easier to spot. I did not find her at my inspection, but only looked at the one frame.

    I am guessing the new queen was killed. if she did not lay the capped brood, sounds like the laying workers or another queen would have killed her.