Friday, May 16, 2014

Raising Another Queen

This week I ordered new front feeders for the beehives because our bees seemed to not care for the top feeder. The ones I ordered are just plastic cap holders that you screw on top of mason jars. At $3 a pop, this will work just fine. I like to use Mason jars as feeders because you can clean them easily and get all the gunk out that builds up when the jars are in the sun.
The main goal for this hive inspection was to look for Queen cups or evidence of a new Queen. At the start of this season, this hive was Queenless. Then we raised a virgin Queen which died. So we moved fresh brood over to attempt to raise another Queen. Since it's still early enough in the season, and we have another hive that is very strong, we decided to take the risk of raising another Queen instead of buying a mated Queen.
When we looked closer, the hive was brimming with activity, so this is definitely a good sign.
The first frame I pulled from the middle of the top box had a Queen cup. Woohoo! And all that spotty brood are drone cells. That means there is a laying working somewhere in the hive as well.
Here's a closer look at the frame. At this capped stage, the Queen should emerge in 7 days, and then hopefully a week after that takes her mating flight. I saw around 4 Queen cells in the hive so the first one to hatch will kill the other Queens.

Here's a look at the new blue hive. It's just waiting for my new Nuc to arrive. I spoke to the Beehive Barn and they said with the cold weather we were having this spring, they are about a week late with the Nucs being ready. I am hoping that we can pick up the Nucs the last week of May. I'm eager to get the Nuc installed so that I can get this hive up and running.
Since the day was a bit overcast, the bees were super aggressive when I inspected. I suspect that most of the bees were close to home because they sensed it was going to rain. I actually got stung 3 times! Twice on my legs, (one sting on each leg).
AND... I also got stung on my neck. Somehow, a bee got into my veil and stung me square in the neck. Oh man, did that one hurt! It got pretty swollen and my neck pretty much "disappeared". I get a really bad reaction to beesting. My doctor says I have a mild allergy to bee venom so I carry around a prescription bottle of Cetirizine, which is an anti-histamine that my doctor prescribed for me for times like this when I really need a strong dose to calm the swelling.
After getting stung 3 times, I went straight home to take a relaxing shower. I found a bee stuck on my clothing. She must have been one of the bees that stung me. Poor bee. If you ask me, she got it worse than I did.


  1. Really interesting! I've got to do a little research to understand the bee vocab though. Too bad about the stings - the looks itchy and painful! But yes, you did better than the bee though.



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