Sunday, July 21, 2013

A New Queen in Town


On Friday I took a road trip to The Kelley Bee Company, to pick up a new Italian queen been.  After taking a peek at my hives, a few days ago, I noticed that one seemed not quite right.  I couldn't find the queen, but that is not so unusual.  However, there were no eggs, no larvae, and no capped brood.  

I felt a little panicky at that point because some bees were suspiciously flying around in our garage.  I should say there were a lot of bees flying around and landing in small clumps.  It really wasn't swarming behavior, but obviously something was wrong.  

Here we have the new queen in her cage.  Not a very good shot, but she is the one on the left with the white dot on her back.  Often times locating the queen, while doing a hive inspection, can get tricky.  There are so many bees and they will also try to hide/protect her.  Thus, marking her helps me tremendously.  On the left is the candy, "food", for her and the, "attendants", in this small cage.  They take car of all her needs, as her only role in life is to lay eggs in the hive.  


I removed the small cork, at the end of the wooden cage, and replaced it with a marshmallow.  This gives the worker bees a chance to, "get to know her", before she flies out into the hive.  The workers will eat away the marshmallow and thus welcome her into the hive.  In this photo you can barely make out the marshmallow topped queen cage at the rear bottom of the frames.  I moved the frames together to make the queen cage stable during her release.  



This photo shows the beginning of a queen cup.  Bees will create this cup like structure to rear a new queen for their hive.  In order for this to work viable eggs must be present in the comb, and I didn't see any of this.  If an egg can be used, the cup is closed and a new queen can be reared in this way.  However, bees will sometimes make theses structures in the frames.  One piece of literature I read described these cups as, "furniture", in the hive.  



Lastly I noticed that the bees were still creating new comb on the frames.  Making me feel like they totally haven't given up on their hive home.  



Hopefully this new queen will be healthy and keep her royal subjects in line :)  

I will check on her in a couple more days.  




52 comments:

  1. 'furniture' - cute! i hope she settles in and they all serve her well!

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  2. So interesting! Keep us posted.

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  3. That is fascinating....hope all goes as you want and need it to, and hope the queen does her job right!

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  4. You're braver than I am! Lots of bees increases the possibility of stings. I will leave bee keeping to you experts, and get my honey from the supermarket. :-}

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  5. We are all rooting for the queen and you, Michelle!

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  6. This is fascinating to me. Thanks for sharing the awesome pics.

    By the way, our WalMart sells Braswell's Fig Preserves. Hopefully, you can try a jar soon!

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    1. I will have to look for those preserves! Thanks for letting me know!

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  7. She needs to knock them on the head with her scepter.

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  8. I love honey, and respect the bees, but I am allergic to the stings.... your photos kind of give me the shivers.

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  9. This s fascinating! And great photos, Michelle. I wouldn't have wanted to get this close. lol.

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  10. That is fascinating; bees are very interesting and skilled creatures. I like how they dance to share where food sources are.

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  11. Great pics as always, I hope she settles in and you'll be back in brood business soon.

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  12. I'm very fond of bees but I don't eat honey very often so I've never explored the idea of having any, you are providing interesting information in case I change my mind.
    Merle.......................

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  13. I'm impressed with your photos...I would never be brave enough to get this close.

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  14. I'm so glad to caught it in time. We have lost all of our hives..the last two were really strong and then just disappeared, left the honey and all. Then a few weeks ago a swarm came back all on their own to one of the last two ones to empty. They probably jumped for joy to find a hive with honey in it already.

    Hope everything works out for you, it can be so heartbreaking when things go wrong. xo

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  15. This is fascinating! I've never seen anything like it!

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  16. How interesting! Aren't you scared of being stung to death? I would be....obviously, you aren't since you are a bee keeper. How in the world did you get into this? Do you were the garment that we see people wear on television when they show bee keepers? Do you use smoke to control them? I am not afraid of one or two bees, but this many would give me the creeps. We have Africanized bees around here and people have been stung to death (one man lately while he was mowing and he didn't realize there was a hive in an abandoned shed. He tried to wash them off, and a neighbor even came and tried to help him, and she was stung, too, but it was too late for the man. They killed him.). So, bees in general make me very nervous.

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  17. Interesting stuff, I'd love for someone to keep bees at our place. I'm not a fan of honey but more pollination could only be a good thing in the orchard.

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  18. HI Michelle This is a good informative post with photos to illustrate it and I have enjoyed reading and seeing all that is going on at present. I hope the 'Queen Bee' settles down and reign victorious soon! Margaret

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  19. what an interesting post, I love bees and enjoy learning about them, good luck your Queen!

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  20. wow... fantasic pics... now i got to know more things about Bee.. lovely

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  21. My friend and neighbor is raising bees. It is fascinating and she really enjoys it. But it is a lot more work than one might think. You can't just set up the hive and forget it. Good luck!

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  22. Beekeeping is quite fascinating. I hope all goes well with the new queen.

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  23. I'm enjoying your bee journey, but I like my seat wayyyy over here where I don't have to be scared of the bees!

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  24. Absolutely fascinating! You've got a new Queen and the UK is about to get a new prince or princess. The week is already looking up.

    Thank you for sharing. I learned something new today.

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  25. Good luck with the new queen Michelle. Long live the Queen. :)

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  26. what a lovely new queen bee - and so stylish, seeing as she's italian!

    a bee fell into my husband's beer the other night - we fished him out and watched with joy as he revived and made his way across the pavement, albeit a little drunkenly, towards his freedom.

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  27. This is so interesting. Love how marshmallows make everything better :-)

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  28. My dad was touting a teaspoonful of local honey before bedtime as a remedy for allergic cough, so I mentioned that you keep bees. He didn't know, or he didn't remember...I'm sure SAM has told him at some point.

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  29. Wow that was so interesting. I enjoy this very much and hope your new queen works out.

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  30. This is so interesting! Bee keeping is something that interests me but all those bees flying around....hmmm...maybe not! Hope it all works out for Queen Bee!

    Marie Angelique

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  31. There are two popes, so why not two queens?

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  32. I knew nothing about bees. This is all so interesting and amazing that their community is so complex. Glad you have a new queen and hope that keeps the bees in line. Love the marshmallow trick. Great day for a story about a queen with the possibility of a new prince or princess in all the newscasts.

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  33. Cool! More exciting than waiting for another heir to the throne being born!

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  34. Hello Michelle, hope the new Queen gets it all straightened out.....I find bee keeping so fascinating, keep us posted please, Francine.

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  35. I like learning about bees from your blog, Michelle! It is very interesting. Hope they like the new Queen and that everyone settles down to making that delicious honey! xo

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  36. A very, very interesting post. Thank you Michelle, I learned something today about the goings on in a hive. We have a couple of hives run by the park people near my favorite walk-about spot and there are always a ton of bees going in and out of the hives.

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  37. Hail to the queen! I hope she makes herself right at home.

    The weather here in North Florida has been wicked and the bees do not take kindly to cloudy skies and rain that never ends. We have stopped providing a supplemental feed and when this weather clears up we will remove the entrance reducer. Fingers crossed that all remains healthy in the hive.

    Velva

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  38. Wow that is interesting. What happens if two queens end up on the hive ?

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  39. Best of luck with the new queen! Hope she kicks into gear soon :)

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  40. all hail to the Queen...hope it all works out well...so much more exciting than all the "Royal watching" to me....your Queen...

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  41. They are so fascinating to me! I love learning about bee hives!

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  42. Enjoyed this about the bees! I have always wanted to know more.....Thanks! Blessings~~~Roxie

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  43. Yes, keep us updated on this.
    Interesting and unique posting.

    Gunn in Stavanger.

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  44. Fascinating stuff! So what happened to the other Queen? Do they abandon the hive? I love the fact that you use a marshmallow to keep her in her cage so they get to know her! I am loving learning more about bee keeping from you.

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  45. Interesting. I love following your beekeeping adventures.

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  46. all this beekeeping is so interesting! hope she likes her new home!

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  47. This is so fascinating. I really had no idea how hives work. I just always love the local honey. xo Laura

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  48. This was so interesting to me! I've always thought that if I wasn't allergic, I'd love to have bees. And I've read about the special challenges of having bees these days, with them just deserting their hives for no apparent reason. Please keep us posted and Long Live The Queen!

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