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Posts Tagged ‘requeening’

Big Island Queen in a Cage

Thanks go out to Emily of the UK for putting the idea of introducing a queen to a new hive without the cage – an aggressive approach compared to our seven-day slow introduction method with a caged queen that has proven to work quite well in our hives. I came home today and when Mark got home, he surprised me with news that he and Danielle requeened a hive using the cageless introduction technique. Cool! He said while they were out in the bee yard feeding, doing mite treatments and dividing when they came across one of our new Jester Bees hive. That hive had lost its queen and the girls made their own, which Mark does not want here in Texas. So, he decided this was an opportunity to try the more aggressive approach – doesn’t hurt to try and I guess his curiosity had been piqued. First things first, he found and killed that queen the girls made for themselves. In the following picture, he is clearing off the attendant bees from the Big Island queen, as best he can.

Getting bees off the cage

After that, he put a very heavy smoke on the hive itself to really sedate them. Don’t worry, it won’t harm the bees.

Smoking the bee hive

Here he is pushing apart a couple of frames to make sure that when he releases her, she’ll be near or on the brood nest.

Releasing the queen

And there she goes when he pulls back the wire protective screen.

There she goes

After all that, he put some feed into the box for them and now we wait and hope. He will go back and check on them next week some time.

Feeding the bees

I want to thank the wonderful Danielle for taking these pictures for us – we wouldn’t have them if she wasn’t with Mark. Sounds like she had a better out in the yards with Mark, which makes me happy to hear. 🙂

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Oliverez Queens in box

We received a box of Olivarez queens this morning. The queens are in the wooden cages and the bees you see were sent along to feed and otherwise attend to the queens. I’ve put off re-queening until now, hoping for some rain and a bit of a nectar flow. The hives accept new queens more readily when they have some nectar coming in. Conditions still aren’t ideal, but definitely better than a month ago. At least they are gathering some pollen, and I’ll continue feeding to simulate a nectar flow.

bees on Oliverez queen bank

Here is a close-up of the queens going into their queen bank. This is a queenless hive and these queens can last a good while in the bank as long as there are plenty of bees to care for them. Tomorrow I head out to kill the old queens and after that I’ll start installing these queens in their hives. If we have a good rate of acceptance, and some rain, then we should have a very good honey crop next year.

queen bank placed in hive
Here are the 28 queens safely tucked away in their temporary home. I wonder what they are thinking.

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