There is a New Lady in Town

When I started keeping bees I was told to always have two hives so you can compare the two. It has always worked well for me. As I told in a previous post, one of my first packages of bees was always less active than the other. The less active one eventually died off. The hive that was so strong last year was looking weaker this year. When I got another package I could really see how less active they were. They were continuing to make honey so I hoped they would get stronger. I noticed them trying to make some queen cells early in the summer and thought they were going to swarm so I got rid of the queen cells. That was my mistake. I think they knew their queen was weak and were raising some knew ones to challenge her. Bees are smart like that. So a few weeks ago I went through the entire hive looking for the queen or evidence of the queen, brood cells and eggs. But none were found, just pollen and honey see the photos below.

So I went and bought a new impregnated queen from the local honey supply store, and installed her. As I talked about before she comes in a queen cage that has candy and a cork blocking a hole on one end. You take the cork out and the bees in the hive start eating though the candy. It takes the bees several days to let he out and she is letting off her pheromone getting them accustomed to her sent. The hope is, by the time she is released, she is accepted by the hive.See the empty queen cage below.
After we took the empty queen cage out we looked for the queen to make sure they accepted her and did not kill her. That would have been wasted money. Great news we found her. I got a marked queen to make it easy to spot her. See the blue dot.
Even better news is that the queen of my heart did most of the work on this project, my wife. I started out bee keeping but she has gotten involved and it has become a great hobby for us as a couple. This spring she is going to take the training that I did when I began keeping. She will probably excel at bee keeping more than I.



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