She’s alive! She’s alive! Our queen bee is alive!

We installed the two packages of bees last Thursday, May 1 and as you read in the last post we had some problems with the queen in the east hive.  So we did our hive inspections today and the west hive had properly released their queen.  We didn’t do much else in that hive…we did pull two frames from the middle and didn’t see the queen but there were lots of bees in there and we just decided it was good enough to see that she was released.

The east hive… the first frame we pulled had what looked to be a supersedure cell being made… not good news we thought.

To quote my favorite website for northwest beekeeping, Honey Bee Suite:

“Supersedure cells are often begun after the eggs are laid. The bees, knowing they need to replace the queen, begin feeding royal jelly to a young larva they have selected. They build a supersedure cell around this larva (or several larvae) and it hangs down from the face of the comb. Swarm cells, however, are built in preparation for swarming and are not intended to replace the queen, but to raise a second queen. This way, there will be a queen for the part that swarms and a queen for the part that stays.”

But as we searched we finally found the marked queen.  Thank goodness we had them marked this year!  Marking i where the seller places a small dot on the back of the queen so you can easily see her in the hive.

So all in all, things are good.  They are not drinking much of the sugar water.  They have some capped honey in the box but not a lot.  They are cleaning the frames like madmen… actually mad- women.  The weather the first two day after installation was beautiful… highs in the 70-80’s.  The last few days have been super wet though, but not overly cold.  During sun breaks today they were flying around working hard.  All seems to be in order!


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